“The bread is still warm and the olive oil is from the land”, he says. If only there had been a video recorder to capture the woman dining cliff side in Rhonda, Andalusia Spain, overlooking ancient wild olive trees while flamenco guitar floated through the garden terrace, shamelessly dump at least a half cup of that liquid gold on a plate, sprinkle in a little sea salt, soak every hunk of bread in the basket and shove it in her face like an old lost lover come home- all before her wine arrived… If only.
The scent of the old stone hearth spiraled through my nostrils off the bronzed crust as the glisten of sun wrung from the hillside’s olive orchards glazed my lips, and I was drunk on all the many hands that made that moment so- with loving dedication to craft and Earth and body and innate pleasures. I mean why give us senses if not for fresh bread?
In Orgiva, Andalusia, the town after my stay in Rhonda, there is a concentrated Moorish population. This little town also has a high concentration of peoples from all over Europe cultivating and maintaining the old crafts, the old ways of growing food, forming handmade medicines and household necessities from raw materials of land and heart. In the local organic market there is a stand run by a Moorish family that sells bread that exudes the smell and the feeling of being in an old temple. I wanted to immediately fall to my knees in devotion when I was near it. And the pride in their eyes, it was holy and serene and rooted to the deep. I knew that if I ate that bread that I would be receiving more than hand milled grain baked to a crusty golden perfection and sprinkled with big hunks of raw gray salt and fresh herbs- I mean seriously.
Why am I writing about bread?
~Bread. Arepa, Lavash, Focaccia, Bagel, Damper, Opi Non, Grissini, Injera, Vanocka, Pitta, Paratha, Knackerbrod, Soda Bread, Zopf, Naan, English Muffin, Qistibi, Yufka, Tortilla.
Bread more than any other food (ok maybe wine) is symbolic of the reciprocity between human body and Earth body, between God and “man”. It represents the arduous, loving, dedication to hand crafting prayer into form and feeding ourselves.
Bread requires dedication. To harvest, to thresh, to grind, to kneed to the perfect rise in the perfect temperature and bake to perfection in the perfect stone oven built by skilled hands is devotion. It is “man” sculpting Earth as Earth has sculpted man by how She feeds and seeds all Life. When prayerful hands have shaped our bread, bread then feeds our prayers to resound gratitude. There is a transmission between bread and man. Bread has thus become a relic of the body and of the holy union, and therefore why it represents the body of Jesus Christ; a man, of no religion but the one Love that dances between Earth and Heaven that lives within the hearts of all womankind.
The culture of bread making dates back *14,000 years to hunter gatherers who discovered ancient, wild grain. Within those earliest cultures, bread making was reserved for the ceremonies, for the royalty of the land and for those embarking on the long journeys away from home. As agriculture advanced a few thousand years, the grain was still sewn, harvested and threshed by prayerful hands and it was a staple on the dinner table. If a family had bread, the family was considered blessed and fed.
Almost every culture on Earth has a ceremonial history and specific form of bread. Bread is a vehicle. Think about that? For what? For all things that nourish the body. For the wine, oil, meat drippings of our feathered and four legged beings. Body carries, body holds, body delivers, body is altar- body is Earth.
And yet, we have threshed away the sacred prayer from our bread, our sustenance. The corruption of bread is a societial travesty that has left almost everyone on Earth hungry in more than our bodies. As the patriarchal industrial complex grew in power it could only stay in that power by disempowering Mother Earth. Our ancestral connection to the foods, ceremonies and ways of life that sustained our vitality and reciprocity with Life were violently suppressed to sustain misplaced power.
The separation from body wisdom, Earth wisdom, Mother wisdom, the feminine divine that gives rise to the bread fruits of life that nourish the children -destroys life. And men no longer know how to sew their seeds with the prayers that grow a bounty for the people. Wombs now filled with pain and the premature ejaculations we call solutions have left our Earth and our bodies fallow and depleted.
I have not eaten bread, meaning wheat, in over a decade, sans current story and maybe a bit here and there, but not really. I could eat the bread in Europe as the food regulations against Monsanto, GMO’s, food colorings and additives are much more strict than the Americas. Not to overromanticize Europe. I still had to be diligent about where I bought my foods as the major grocerers in Europe have also been slimed by the poisons in our international food systems.
When I ate that bread in Spain, something ancestral came alive in me. There was a memory restored in my heart of the many hands creating blankets of bounty and innate safety. There was grief as if the Grandmother’s were frozen in time at the hearth and my eating was the fire that melted their frozen hearts. The bread was a medicine for me in reclaiming the wisdom of my body. It was a part of my long healing from a very serious eating disorder of restriction and purging and shame and poisoning of my mind and body by society’s “advancements”.
Unfortunately the bread we eat, if you eat bread, has been so far removed from its original form that is has become poison- on purpose. The glutenized, homogenized, “nutrient” enhanced crap they are feeding the children is killing the children. The more a population is severed from its innate source of nourishment, from Mother, the stronger the codependency on something else to feed the population becomes. And what we are being fed is poison that is creating profits for the patriarchy while we live with disease. (In case I needed to say it a different way)
The wheat we know now is not some, how does that song go, the one where we are supposed to stand in allegiance and weep for the joy of the American dream? Something about amber waves of grain? Fool’s gold my friends. It’s a Wonder it’s bread.
~Last week I had an ancestral healing come through me as I was praying down at the water. I felt the old ones, the lands they tended, my people and their breads. I needed bread. It wasn’t a craving for comfort or carbohydrates or something like that. It was deeper.
But here I am in Mexico where the ancestral foods have been so corrupted by US, that getting an old grown wheat made bread like I might be able to find in my amazing little bubble on the coast of the PNW is quite elusive. But bread I kneeded (get it?), like my life depended on it, and there are people here reclaiming the old ways from all over the world and there are bakeries and organic markets.
So, I listened and I found some bread made by a man selling little loaves the same day the ancestors came through. It wasn’t organic flour and it wasn’t sourdough- the two things that can make bread a deeper source of nourishment, but it was medicine because of why I was eating it. I had only a little bit and it sparked something deeper in me. A strength I have not had in many lifetimes came into my veins. As did an almost blinding rage for all of the countless times I have put food to my lips with as my belly clenched “will this heal or harm?!” I could feel my body go into fear-fight- war- restriction- confusion. It is my mission to unravel this in the bellies of the children.
Memory is passed through our food. Memory is passed through our body. Mother’s milk contains the song of the first story. The story you will help tell is determined by how you feed yourself. When the bread is made by hands that remember when humans knew how to sew the seeds in praise, then the grandchildren inherit a narrative that they are here to be well fed.
So I sought out more bread and discovered some sourdough made by a little family selling at the organic market on Sundays. I won’t be eating bread everyday again until I can make my own from ancestral grain. But I will have a bit, and I will pray. I am reclaiming something for my ancestors and I always listen to them. They sing in my bones, they flow in my blood, they remember how to suckle Her milk with the first song on their lips and thus feed me in ways that raises all the babes from the throes of starvation.
Yesterday I cut a slice, as this essay was bubbling up in me, and went for a walk. As I left my casita munching along, a Greek woman walked past me. I believe she was Greek- the olive skin, swaying hips, round breasts, wild curly hair and a look on her face like she is always ready to make love while stomping grapes, massive joy and light on her sun kissed wrinkles- and she was eating a piece of bread (I can’t make this sh*t up). We saw one another and without words we knew. She tipped her bread at me in recognition of something that only those who know, know. The old one in me, nodding at the old one in her. The life bearers, the Earth worshipers, the body dwellers, the prayer walkers, the thresholders.
We are reclaiming a world shaped by our body’s wisdom again. We are going to bake bread. Amen.
~ I dive deeper into our food systems and how you can support the transformation back to health in my Ebook- Holistic Integration. It is $5 and you will find some gold in there that you can turn into sustenance for your life and therefore feed the children.
Thank you for supporting the Love that moves through me.
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Blessings Sage for seeing deeper.
Such beauty in you. immersing myself in your words. in your wisdom. in your care. tomorrow morning I will make bread. 🪐