Bread Matters: Dancing Round the Maypole

Many thanks to supporter Nuria Cabellos González for sharing her baking-related philosophy from lockdown in Spain.

She explained: ‘My post this week has been inspired by the maypole dances, as I have heard how some people have been passing food parcels through washing lines and ropes. I have been exchanging bread for facemasks and I enjoy hearing how people’s contact and support is really helping the community at difficult times. The picture of the bread is mine, I really enjoyed that loaf, and the barley fields are from my mum’s tiny village in central Spain, Cerezo de Mohernando Guadalajara. The barley is looking very good this year.’

We have reached mid-May, a time of the year where traditionally there have been many celebrations, as it was the beginning of the good weather and crops are starting to show their good signs.

With celebrations, music, dance and food have always been present. Dances around maypoles are colourful signs that the harsh and difficult winter is on its way out. Many cultures around the world have celebrated this mid-term season with colourful laces.

Humanity shares more common needs, worries, concerns and celebratory reasons than differences.  I find maypoles fascinating examples of community building and how the crossing of the laces forms a lovely and colourful pattern. It is an example how everyone’s contribution is important for a common goal.

It is the power of self-organisation for a common purpose that I have reflected upon during these Covid days.  At the beginning of lockdown when the restrictions were so strict that we had to self-isolate and we could not see neighbours or exchange goods, it was amazing to see how neighbours  invented ways to pass parcels through ropes and washing lines  across  roofs, windows and courts. Bread, cakes and biscuits have been precious goods coming through the ropes. But also personalised facemasks which came in different sizes for all members of the family. People have been contributing as they could as our ancestors did when the power of local was not a choice but a way of life.

The power of local starts at grassroots level where everyone contributes with what they can and the community supports those who are in need. Cooperation and community building have been key elements to help deal with conflict but also to celebrate.

As we are now starting to see the lift of restrictions in Spain’s lockdown, I really hope that the spirit of the community continues as we have built it. Now we are slowly starting to meet up keeping the physical distance (it was never social distance, just physical let’s not forget), as the social contact and support is what has been helping and connecting all of us. The social network which we have built together has been to support, celebrate and create as we have learnt through generations.

Let’s keep celebrating, dancing and helping our community. And of course, Baking because Bread Matters 😉

Warm wishes,


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