I do I do I do love to bake. I would much rather bake than do any other household chore, it isn’t a chore it’s a pleasure. There is always baking in our house. I bake a whole range of things for my family: biscuits, tray bake, scones, cake, pies and there is tea loaf on offer all of the time, it’s one of my husband’s favourites as well as being low in fat and sugar.
Baking to me is a comfort it’s who I am and it’s what I do it’s not a past time it’s part of me. There have been times in my life when I have suffered terribly with mental illness, exhaustion, stress and anxiety but when I have baked during those times it gave me joy and brought me home.
I can recall a number of memorable moments in my life when everything seemed to stop in the moment when happiness coursed through my body and I felt at peace with life. Like life was communicating with me. One of those moments was during a deep spell of depression. I had very little energy but I found the energy to bake, it was shortbread. Sometimes I make shortbread biscuits of all shapes and sizes, on occasions sandwiched together and iced to make Empire Biscuits one of my absolute favourites. But I also make trays of shortbread, caramel, rough diamond and also just plain simple shortbread sliced in the tray and lifted to reveal its crumbly top and tight under layer. This day, the one I remember, I was making just that, a tray of shortbread. When I had the mix ready I tipped it in and placed my hands in to settle it down and flatten it. And it was in that moment that I felt something wonderful flow through me, a feeling of pure joy, comfort and love I was in my flow and I felt so happy I cried. Anyone who has been depressed will know it can be weeks and months of feeling very little but blank, bleak and empty apart from pain. So to have such a beautiful feeling in that moment doing something so incredibly simple was enlightening. It proved to me that you can’t search for happiness, you don’t find it in things, treasures or jewels, you don’t even find it in people although at times you might feel it because of another one’s company. Happiness appears out of nowhere and when it does it is pure love, pure connection with all that there is, and in that moment you are at one with the world. Happiness is like a unicorn you can’t go out and hunt for it, you can’t see it and you don’t know where to find it. Even if you glimpse a unicorn there’s no point in trying to catch it and keep it because that’s the trick with happiness you have to let it go, it can’t be held anymore than your own breath can. Just trust, trust in life that happiness will appear again.