Yesterday, I asked someone the following question: If I say “bread” and “virtue” together what springs to mind? I confess I was testing my own sanity in a way. Is what I am doing insane or will it make a difference. Why indeed virtuous bread? Why is this so important to me and is it important to anyone else? Did the words resonate at all with anybody other than me?
I received an answer that pleased me, moved me, and gave me strength. You know there are some days when it all feels useless and stupid and as if this thing – this virtuous bread thing – must have me barking up the wrong tree or falling down a rabbit hole or going off the path in whatever way works for you. And then there are days when someone is really engaged or complimentary, or offers to help. Those are the better days.
Yesterday was a better day.
“Bread and virtue is the perfect combination of words. It is a reality check for everyone who sees those two words together. It asks us to ask questions about the person who set up virtuous bread: where does it come from? what is the inspiration? who is behind this and why?”
You can see that yesterday was a better day.
So I thought I would answer. And because it is probably a long answer, I will do so over a number of posts – to eek out the thrilling story of why Virtuous Bread.
My name is Jane Mason. I am a Canadian of German and British extraction although neither of my parents lived in their birth countries for very long. My mother made it to Canada via England and Puerto Rico and my Father via China, Hong Kong, and England. If I have one word to describe my parents it is that they are kind. If I have more than one word it is that they are conscious of the ways in which their lives are blessed, extremely aware of and responsible toward the natural world, and make tradeoffs and choices accordingly. My mother has been an environmental campaigner all of my life and was considered a freak in suburban Toronto in the 70s for recycling, and for not buying processed food. And I mean at all. I mean we NEVER had ANY. She swore she could taste the chemicals and had an instinctive feeling that intensive farming and industrialised food production were bad for the planet, our communities and our health. She baked until she could get organic bread from a german baker who was so far away that she bought ten pound loaves and cut them up and put them in the freezer. She still bakes like a demon although these days it tends to be cookies and cakes for her and my father to consume at tea time.
My parents come from a generation that does not waste (especially not food), that preserves when there is a glut of something, and that does not excessively consume. They buy almost everything with cash. They open a bottle of wine and it lasts for days. They are left over wizards. They have been married for nearly 50 years, have a large and varied circle of friends, many of whom they have known for 50 years, a rampant social life which involves a lot of events in which food is brought, shared, and eaten by many. They love and so they are loved. Virtuous bread.
At some point in the future I will write the next installment. How do you get from strategy consultant to baker and social entrepreneur? You can began that journey with some thoughts about virtue.