Whew. Another day almost done. Well, the dirty pots and pans and trays are waiting for me, but at least the bread and goodies are wrapped and ready for tomorrow.
The sun has set, the stars are beginning to pop out and the evening is still and quiet. I just had to come outside for a few minutes and feel the air since I have been working indoors since four this morning.
As tiring as my job is, I enjoy the routine and the rote order of the day. I don't really have to think when I get out of bed. I hop up, put on water for my coffee, grind some beans, put on some milk to warm, then start the mill to grinding. I have an order to the day, starting with the Hard White Wheat products, the Milk and Honey bread, the Pizza Crust dough, the Italian Peasant Bread. Then, as those doughs are rising, and I have my second cup of coffee, I pull out the Spelt berries and begin to mill them. Spelt Milk and Honey bread, Spelt and Wheat Seedy Loaf, Spelt Almond Raisin Rye, all the ingredients perform amazing alchemy in the kneading bowls. After the Spelt Challah is placed in the bowl to rise, I move on to the Kamut berries, milling them, meanwhile making the honey/sucanat mixture for the gigantic bowl of granola, using 24 cups of organic oats, eight cups of organic raisins and eight cups of almonds. Plus lots of cinnamon. Today I made Kamut Applesauce Cake and Kamut Oatmeal Cookies and Spelt and Kamut Seedy Crackers.
Sometimes the phone rings, sometimes someone pops in for a chat, but mostly I am hyperfocused on my tasks, ITunes Library cranking out a bizarre soundtrack for my day.
I love music. Many varieties. Some days I start with Andrew Peterson and continue with an inspirational playlist. Sometimes I have to have my favorite women artists, like Eva Cassidy, Sheryl Crow,EmmyLou, Cindi Lauper, Mindy Smith and Nanci Griffith. Occasionally the 80's overwhelms the mix, with Chicago, Journey, Peter Gabriel and the like.
I even like to belt out the Folk Songs arranged by Beethoven and performed by the New York Philharmonic.
This evening, as I finished wrapping up the last loaves of Spelt Milk and Honey, Twila Paris came up on the list with her collection of hymns. I grew up in a Southern Baptist church, went to seminary and served as a missionary off and on. Now I go to St James, an Episcopal church. We don't sing the same hymns, but I like the liturgy and the hymnology. Even so, there is something about the songs of my childhood that feel like balm to a tired soul. The old songs from the good old days, that actually were pretty tough old days for the hymn writers and the church of that day.
"When the Roll is Called up Yonder" came on and I mindlessly sang along for a few minutes, creasing the paper, tearing the masking tape, placing the labels. Then came the stanza, "Let us labor for the Master from the dawn til setting sun, Let us talk of all his wondrous love and care,Then when all of life is over and our work on earth is done, when the roll is called up yonder I'll be there."
So many sense memories washed over me as I sang, I had to rewind and start the song over again. I could feel the seats in the old church in Naruna, Texas, and could hear my Dad's voice as we sang in the little bitty country church, windows wide open, live oaks in the cemetery, maybe just maybe some of "Aunt" Ruth Vann's fried apple pies to go with dinner on the grounds.
And I thought of the work of my hands, and how it isn't done. Not for now, at any rate. And then I thought of how tired Philip was his last few weeks of life. I thought of how hard he would work during the day, putting on a good face, but at night, when all was still and everyone else was in bed asleep, he would tell me he was praying for the Lord to return because he didn't think he could endure much longer.
He was so tired.
He hurt so badly.
His heart had been wearing out since he was a little baby with rheumatic fever and we had been to doctor after doctor trying to get that poor thing out of atrial fibrillation and into regular rhythm. And through it all he fixed the cars and shoveled the snow, cut the firewood and restored our farmhouse and someone else's farmhouse and helped with the farm and loved on me and the kids and did who knows what all to help other people who crossed his path.
All those things crossed my mind as I mindlessly wrapped up the bread and sang along.
And I was so grateful that Philip's work on earth is done and that his worn out heart can rest now.
Then the song changed and moved on to Van Morrison and I finished loading up the tubs with the farmer's market stuff and came outside to see the dark sky and feel the air for a moment before finishing up the pots and pans.
Grief is weird. It sneaks up on you at the strangest moments.
I miss Philip so much, yet it seems like maybe it was a hundred years ago or so he walked the earth with us. Even though it is hard figuring out how to live life without him, I would never, never, not in a million years wish him to leave his rest and come back to suffering, pain and exhaustion.
I'm glad that hymn came up on the playlist and gave me such depth of sense memory. Even though it feels a little raw, it isn't as raw as it was a year or more ago. Makes me thankful for a job that gives me time to think as my hands work. I feel better for having felt the loss tonight and the bittersweet memories. Isn't that strange?