Still Life Sunday: The Bakery

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5 The Bakery

She carries the sign outside, making sure it stands on its own legs made from metal, and she herself stays on the street for a while. Breathing in the sweet morning air, listening to the silence of 6.30 in the morning, feeling the moisture on her skin. It’s the end of Summer and her first day back after a four-week vacation.

She smells the air, looks up to the skies to see the clouds. It’s going to rain in an hour or so.

When she returns to the bakery, she is welcomed by the savory, gentle aroma of freshly baked bread and croissants. Her body fills with warmth and she feels energetic and alive, although she didn’t get much sleep because one of her children has the chickenpox. But here, in the bakery, she manages to forget all the troubles and challenges that wait for her back home.

In here she simply stands behind the counter and sells unique, tasty, hand-made breads, buns and croissants, and that’s nothing else exists in the world right then, in that moment. Just bread, buns and croissants. A heaven.

The doors open at seven. At five past seven the first customer comes in. No umbrella, no raindrops on the jacket – the rain hasn’t started yet. This older gentleman comes every Tuesday and Friday to buy a loaf of bread, and today he greets her with a satisfying tone.

“Back again at work, are you now?”

“That’s right”, she answers, smiling. “I had four very relaxing weeks of vacation and now I’m back.”

“It’s nice to have you here again”, the man says. He pays for the loaf of bread with almonds and apricots and leaves, waving his hand at the door.

Ten minutes later the next customer comes in. Her jacket has a few raindrops on it. The rain is starting.

Like the gentleman, she’s also a regular and comes by the bakery every day to buy a croissant or a cinnamon roll, depending on the day and her mood. Today she seems happy, and an even brighter smile crosses her face when she sees who stands behind the counter.

“Oh, you’re back! It’s so nice to see you.”

“Thank you, it’s nice to be back”, she answers. “In fact, during the last few days I started looking forward to getting back to work. I’ve missed this place.”

“That’s wonderful”, the woman says, and chooses a Roquefort croissant to go, signaling that she’s in a good mood. She welcomes her back once more before leaving.

When the door closes, she looks around the small bakery, enjoying the silence. She and her partner in baking opened the doors to this place for the first time two years ago. It’s been more time-consuming and stressful then she and her partner had thought, but hell, hasn’t it been one of the best decisions of their lives? She smiles, pours herself a cup of freshly ground coffee and leans back against the desk.

There is nothing better than to realize you miss your workplace while you’re away. It’s as if you’ve managed to create a life you don’t need a vacation from.

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