Few food items are innately loaded with biblical meaning. Of this few, perhaps none can compare to Bread. Man does not live on bread alone. The Bread of Life. The five loaves and two fish. Breaking Bread.
For those of us who might feel that bread might be more spiritual than us, you might still agree to its quasi-religious properties.
Its very warmth comforts the soul. It’s the hug we didn’t expect at the end of a long day. It’s not the kiss found in rom-coms or broadway or music videos. It’s the nose on the forehead – tentative, pregnant, expressive with every exhale. It’s the touch in places pornography will never show you.
Its aroma alone dispels darkness. It’s the scent of her lotion on your hand because you’ve held hands the from the house, to the mall, through the movie, and through the entire car ride. It’s the perfume of Crayola, Magic Markers and fresh sweat when your kid hands you your award for being the best dad in the world. It’s the aroma of your ancestors’ provincial home whenever you open the old upright piano.
It cracks and breaks in your hands. It is delicate and determined. Like the bus ride this morning. Like the job you have to do. Like the dream that breaks your heart and back.
And we take our pan de sal in the morning. When we have the luxury of momentary amnesia amidst glorious light. When we can forget yesterday’s sunsets and twilights and missed deadlines and wars waged over phones. When we can honestly say that the day is loaded, but it can wait. When we can say my eyebags are eating into my cheeks, but what the hell. First thing’s first. Heaven-on-earth waits.
Hot bread has just come out of the oven.