"Your lovely book is on its way to Ireland! I'll let you know when I hear from Breezy. She doesn't know who I am; I've only seen her here on Facebook. I just decided to send your book to her because she's always making gifts of her breads to others."
(Facebook message March 31, 2021 from Kathy Fanning, a friend in Juneau, Alaska)
Breezy? Breezy who?
I wrote Kathy back to thank her for her thoughtfulness and to ask for more details. She had little more to offer than a last name, Breezy Kelly, and a link to a Facebook Group – Bake Bread for Peace, which I immediately checked out.
(Facebook message April 24 from Kathy)
"Hi Twylla! Thought I'd share this sweet photo with you...I saw it on Breezy's page, and of course, was delighted to know the book found its way to her."
There was my book, The Power of Bread, on a woman's table in Ireland, surrounded by three loaves of bread! They looked delicious and perhaps even still warm, having just been whisked out of the oven by the breadmaker's hands. I was stunned by the unlikeliness of it all – connections from Alaska to Ireland to me – and yet not. Acts of kindness and intention are rarely as serendipitous as they may seem.
I sent Breezy a friend request, which she accepted, and we exchanged several FB messages. I was eager to learn more about her passion for baking bread and sharing her loaves with others. Fortunately, I found an article in the Belfast Telegraph, written by Ivan Little in July, 2018 – with a picture of Breezy and a loaf of bread.
"Peace begins at home and in the community," Breezy said. We can do something on our own doorsteps to repair the awful disconnection." ...baking bread can make a difference."
She went on to explain that the bread–peace connection came to her one night after watching the "grim" news on TV.
"I felt afraid and as I went into the kitchen for tea. It suddenly struck me that baking bread and breaking bread are things that people do all over the world."
Since then, Breezy has baked and shared bread with neighbors and in homes throughout Northern Ireland. Storytelling and singing are often part of the gatherings, or pehaps it's the aroma of a single loaf drifting out of her cottage window that spreads her message of peace.
Breezy invites us all to pass on peace with a simple loaf of bread. I plan to join her and others around the world on October 24, for the 9th Annual International Bake Bread for Peace Day.
Please consider baking a loaf yourself and sharing it. Not a bread baker? My favorite loaf of pumpkin bread comes from a box. Whatever you choose to bake, don't forget to stir in the most essential, yet invisible, ingredient – your own peaceful spirit.