Somewhere in the records of history the symbol of a pretzel in the street facing peak of a guild house was a “billboard” that this was a baker. To this day this house is still a bakery. Is still in the family. The slate tiles testify that permanence was not an afterthought but a way of life. Skills were learned, honed, and blessed in community.
A few kilometres up the road there is a monastery with four remaining monks. The profit centre (a pub) was sold some years ago to a brewery. The youngest of the four monks pauses to bless us in English. We wander over to the dessert line and savour near heavenly pastries.
There is something to be said for intergenerational traditions. Yet I have difficulty seeing myself as a baker. My father on many occasions complained about how science was killing natural processes, how preservatives were creating new allergies, how machines were destroying the art of baking. Yet in progress he bought a new rotary oven. There is this tension between efficiency and creativity. The monk and the baker might share the answer.