The Power of Pastry: A Quiet Moment in Chaotic Times

My fellow introverts. I must begin this post with a question: How are you doing?

Lately, I’ve been feeling like the world around me has sped up at a dizzying speed and I haven’t felt at all ready to dance the frantic jig of life again yet. I’ve also been asking myself, are we really all that ready to be led out onto the dance floor yet?

It seems like I’m still hearing too much bad news. Friends, neighbors and co-workers are still telling me about those they know that are still testing positive for Covid-19. It’s been happening far more frequently than my mind thinks I should be hearing–a year into the pandemic.

As I sit in traffic this week, I think about those I know who have been exposed and who are quarantining this week.

Traffic.

I wasn’t ready for the guy in the big, white truck to barrel down on my back bumper in an attempt to push me over the speed limit.

I wasn’t prepared to be pushed back into the fast lane of life again.

I wasn’t prepared for the absence of breakfast sandwiches at Starbucks or the disappearance of prescription cat food that my Tabby relies on. Life seems to be pushing, pulling, tugging at me. I felt for a moment its lure to draw me in and convince me we were returning to normal again…but it just hasn’t clicked into place like a well-designed puzzle piece yet. Something is still off. Seeing empty shelves again was a clue.

Life seems more in charge of me than I am of it.

At the pet store, I listen to the cashier tell me that ships are having troubles coming into port to deliver their supplies. I’ve never thought about how far my cat food has had to travel before. I’ve had this illusion that it’s been crafted somewhere local—or at least in the United States. At night, as I listen to my tabby reject a new brand, I lay looking up at the ceiling wondering what life will be like from now on.

I feel at times I can only react to that which happens, not create.

But then, there is this little spark of hope out of nowhere.

It comes packaged in a rectangle, a white, glossy box. Crafted by skilled hands. It inspires future dreams. It brings memories of passports and of packing luggage.

For a moment, life slows down. A big breath is taken. The body and mind seems satisfied if just for a minute or two. Or three. However long you want it to last.

I’m speaking about pastry. Really great pastry. From a French bakery. A new discovery. In the heart of Olympia, Washington called Left Bank.

It began as a recommendation. Then came a walk. Which soon led to falling in love with a new favorite place. It even brought me closer to another, who shared in the experience and was instrumental in creating the discovery.

There are others–many others–who have discovered this gem. Arrive in the morning, just before opening hours and there will already be a line. Masked customers, all some six feet or more, standing apart from one another, waiting for their chance at the window. To view something beautiful. To taste something divine.

Perhaps they come to hold on to dreams of their own, from better days past, or of better ones to come. Perhaps they come to create new memories for a new day in chaotic times. Perhaps they come to feel nostalgic. Or hopeful.

And in all of this, there is a feeling of normalcy.

This, is the power of pastry.

Create your own memory and go exploring. Here is the website: https://www.leftbankpastry.com/

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