baking has always been relaxing to me. something about the measuring and the mixing and knowing something bigger will come from the small steps i'm taking.
there are the standards i have made throughout the years, like red velvet cake and pumpkin pie. and the not-so-standard desserts, like carrot and pineapple cake and the cranberry, walnut and white chocolate cookies that have become a christmas tradition.
i like having a recipe in front of me. exact measurements and directions. knowing that, if i follow the instructions carefully, the end product will be just as i expected and hoped for. no real surprises, and a consistency between making the recipe one time and then trying it another.
i like the sense of control. and i think that is where the relaxation comes from when i'm baking and not having to worry, because i know it will all work out just as it should (just as the recipe promises).
i know, in reality, i am not the one in control (baking or not). but i feel as if we are given ways to feel in control, especially in those times when it is especially hard to understand why something has happened the way it has, and that there is nothing we can do about it - that is, nothing we can do about it to reverse it or erase it. instead, if we look, we find tiny things, like making a batch of cupcakes, that are our own, predictable and, more often than not, reliable. because, although we cannot change the "bigger picture," we can change how we deal with it and handle it, accepting it is all out of our control, knowing something bigger is in the future thanks to our tiny steps, and trusting that everything works out as it should, because there is always someone baking right alongside us.
["and it's good to know it's out of my control. if there's one thing that i've learned from all this living, it's that it wouldn't change a thing if I let go..]