Last night I went to sleep very late and dreamt of nothing but red paint, every color red–deep maroons, shameless scarlets and luscious shades of pinks in oils and acrylics and watercolors.  I woke knowing my dream was about love.  And creating.

I have been in a deep inner place.  I have been hibernating and hiding and resting.  I have been sitting on the sidelines alot, watching with joy and interest but a bit reluctant to just jump on in. 

But when I woke today the sun was shining and the air felt as though a Caribbean breeze had just blown through.  AWAKEN! it seemed to shout at me in a voice both compassionate and bossy.

It seemed like the only thing to do was to create. 

My housemate and I plotted.  We wanted to do something kind– guerilla style.  What would it take, we wondered to make mandazi–Rwandan style donuts–for the entire neighborhood?  What would happen if we walked through this day, just dropping off dozens of hot, steaming fried sweet breads at house after house?  How would it change the week for these people?  Would people be different in their jobs, their families and their lives for having been brought little sweets tied up in bows?  For some of them it would be nothing but a nice community touch but for others–perhaps it would be the reminder that they needed that they weren’t just somebody who had bills to pay or somebody who had problems to solve but they were somebody loved. 

For nothing says you are loved like flour and sugar and vanilla and butter.

We made a list of the people who we thought had touched our hearts in one way or another.  We broke out the fanciest vanilla, used the finest of our sugars and mixed and cut and fried and wrapped the donuts by the dozen in craft paper.  We made homemade tags for each family with a note just for them and piled the packages high in baskets and we set out.

Delivery was swift but gratifying–many families were not home.  We left their packages like little babies in baskets on the front doorstep, a note from us explaining the package.  We giggled the whole way around wondering what they would think when they saw the package of sweet fried breads and carried it into their home.  The families that were home were touched, surprised, grateful…and yes a few were quite perplexed.   

I feel I have retreated so far inside myself that I am starting to turn back outward–that I have flipped myself inside out.  I feel I am a bit more comfortable in my skin for having loaded up my basket and then emptied it out.  I found myself with more patience for myself.  I found myself able to dive deep into the day instead of hanging on the margins feeling wounded and a bit scared.

I feel I have spent my day painting my world with the brush of deep red love.  And I have discovered that I too, am somebody loved.

7 Responses to “Adventures of Guerilla Bakers”

  1. Jena Strong Says:

    Geez, Woman. You are amazing. I wish I lived in your neighborhood but just might have to try something like this…

  2. bella Says:

    FLipped yourself inside out.
    I know this feeling, and you expressed it so eloquently.
    And you have inspired me.
    I am not surprised. 🙂

  3. Jena Strong Says:

    Tag, you’re it, Guerrila-baker, joy-spreader!

  4. shelbi Says:

    nothing says you are loved more than when a friend brings something from their oven…oh my. i wish we lived closer. something tells me we were separated at birth 🙂

    you rock girl!

  5. Jen Ballantyne Says:

    Yes you are definitely loved girl. What a sweet thing to do and what a sweet way of defining it. Again, I wish I lived in your community. Take care sweetheart xxx

  6. Maggie Says:

    This is amazing writing. What a lovely picture you’ve painted, right from that first riveting paragraph.


  7. Meg Casey » Sambusa, mandazi and deep fried love Says:

    […] The day my housemate and I delivered mandazi to many of our beloved neighbors, we were sitting in Jackie’s kitchen.  “I need to learn how to make these,” Jackie said. […]