I’m pretending the year started on February 1.
It makes more sense to make your fresh starts at the beginning of February. January is a month for hibernating and for recuperating, for licking wounds and sleeping and dreaming about what the year ahead might hold. I know we’re supposed to do this in between the mania of Christmas and New Year, but there’s not enough time or space for imagining then. I need a month to hide under a duvet and imagine.
February brings with it longer days, (slightly) warmer weather, and the promise of spring. Invigorated by the promise of the new month and the idea of the end of winter, I set to work on some of my aspirations for the year….
Starting with making more bread. I’ve written about making bread before, but I still keep forgetting the key ingredient you need to make good bread – patience.
You have to let bread rest and then prove, so it’s an afternoon’s work. In my cool-temperatured flat it’s a day’s work. But I keep forgetting to be patient, peeking at the dough to convince myself it’s doubled in size when it clearly hasn’t, and baking it before it’s ready. The result? A slightly hefty, dense loaf. It’s not inedible, but it’s not the light but crusty perfection I’m aiming for.
Yesterday I baked and then left my dough to do it’s thing for a long time. I made the dough at 11am. I had coffee with a friend. I went and sewed knitted squares together for the Big Issue’s Big Knit. I watched an episode of Homeland. I baked the bread at 9.30pm. After all that waiting, I can finally say, the loaves aren’t bad.
This year, I’m going to practise the art of waiting. Because it’s in the waiting that things grow.