#Seven Days – Seven Ways

A week of describing things that have helped me over the years of learning to live with the grief of childlessness and of celebrating the me I have become.  Apologies for the gap of two days – unfortunately migraines are no respecters of blog deadlines!  This set of blog posts is to coincide with Fertility Network UK’s #YouAreNotAlone Fertility Week.  Visit them here to see what they’re up to.  Here is a very belated day 4.

Get ‘out of your head’

No, I don’t mean getting blind drunk on tequila slammers!  I mean the other kind of ‘getting out of your head’ – doing something that helps stop those painful thoughts and feelings circling in your brain like a murder of crows.  You know the ones: “I’m not good enough”; “why her/him and not me?”; “I’ll never be a parent”; …I’m sure you can add your own to this list.  I find these thought circles exhausting.  They only stop when I do something productive with my hands.

Over the years I’ve tried many pastimes.  I now realise I am not:

A knitter
A gardener
A sewer
A painter
A paper-cutting artist
A florist
A potter

What I am is a baker.  You could say it’s in my blood – one of my great, great grandfathers was a baker and I learnt the craft from my great aunt, my grandmother and mother.  I love thefullsizeoutput_96 whole process: the measuring and mixing, the silky feel of flour on my hands, hearing the oven humming, the blast of heat as I open the oven door.

Recipes are prayers.  Kneading is meditation.

There is still another layer to the whole baking process for me.  There is something ‘time-full’ about it.  When I bake I feel the past – standing at my grandmother’s side learning how to judge the ratios of flour, butter and sugar.  I smell those aromas from the oven and I’m running home from school anticipating a butterfly cake or an empire biscuit.  But I feel the present too – my own individual touches I have added to old recipes, new recipes I research on the internet, the way that baking a cake takes the time it takes.

And then, the final layer – sharing the fruits of my labour. There is nothing quite like watching another human enjoying my lavender scones.IMG_0649

There is a completeness to the whole craft: becoming lost in the physicality of it, bringing past and present together, producing something delicious, watching it being consumed down to the last crumb.

It’s my way of nurturing.



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