There is a small sound. A little click of wood giving way that my worktop makes when I knead my bread. It hasn’t always made this sound, it has come with time. I have built it with every bread I’ve made in this house.
I remember sitting sideways on a kitchen chair, leaning back on the wall and watching my mother knead bread. Her back to me and beyond her our small rose garden outside the kitchen window. Click. Swoosh. Click as her body rhythmically forced the worktop down the tiniest amount. Swoosh as her hands swept along the floured surface to gather the dough and then fold, pressing it down with the heel of her palm. I do these same motions now. Our breads are very different, but I do what I have watched her do and I recognise the click of the worktop giving way to me. It is rhythm, it is ritual.
When I was little, I was fascinated with the way my older sister could make fine gravel crunch under her shoes. I tried everything to copy her, I told everyone to be quiet as I emphatically walked over that same spot, working hard to emulate the sound, but I never managed. I was convinced at the time that it was her shoes, her worn white Adidas high-tops, and that I would never be able to make that sound until I had the same shoes. Of course, the shoes had nothing to do with it. It was weight. I was simply too small and too light to make the gravel crunch in just the right way.
Now, if I happen to walk across some fine gravel and it makes the right sound, I often turn back to walk over it one more time and savour the moment.
Crunch, my past echoes.
Click. Swoosh, my morning says.