Daily gratitude #4:
This is my first (somewhat) successful attempt at naturally leavened bread. The naturally present yeasts in the cool fall air found a feast in a simple mix of flour and water and honey I laid out on my counter. Those same little microbes eventually turned those same basic ingredients into a tasty, chewy, crunchy loaf of bread. While it may not look great, The smell in my house is something beyond explanation or description, at least by me. Were it not for those yeasts, I would simply have a mushy, bland goop of flour and water that would bake into an inedible brick. It took no specialized equipment- just some basic knowledge that was somehow figured out by my ancestors thousands of years ago.
Similar microbes are also currently turning honey water into mead, scuppernong juice into wine and sweet tea into kombucha in my pantry. Again, basic ingredients made complex, nutritious and preserved by the unseen microbes around me. It’s no wonder that these processes- brewing beer, baking bread- and the like, held spiritual significance in times past. And they hold the same for me still.
Today I am grateful for the treasures of the natural world that go unseen and taken for granted, from the spiritual to the microbial...and often times one and the same.