Last night we had Bread Run and, just between you and me, I have always struggled with Bread Run. I mean, who'd want to go out on a winter's evening, bag up bread and drive round the neighbourhood delivering it to people?
I don't know why I find it so difficult. I mean, it doesn't take long, and we often had coffee afterwards, and these days Andrew and I can generally do the navigating without having to serve a divorce notice. But for some reason, Bread Run brings out the multiple personalities in me.
Yes, that's right, my name is Legion. But not to worry, this week I sent those bad gals into a herd of pigs.
Here is how the process worked itself out in me.
The first person I had to confront was Lizzie Liar: an I-don't-feel-well-tonight, perhaps-I-won't-come,' kind of gal. She was quite convincing. But, her lies didn't wash in the end, because, even though she was adept in the art of twisting the truth, she couldn't help bitchin' about Bread Run for days beforehand, and I was onto her.
Number two was Lizzie Light Fingers. The moment she entered the church kitchen and saw the mountain of bakery items on the bench, her eyes lit up. I mean it wasn't just white block loaves, but pull-aparts, and coffee scrolls and jam doughnuts, and cinnamon buns and scones and pizza breads and cheesymite rolls. And even though she'd already had dinner, Light Finger's mouth started to water, and she just wanted to try one or two scones … or slip one of those doughnuts in her bag.
In fact, if I hadn't kept an eye out, Light Fingers would have squatted down behind the counter and just start stuffing those bakery items into her mouth.
The third, and by far the more sinister, persona was the Lizzie Legalist. As she drove up to houses, knocked on doors and handed over bread, she found herself trying to work out why these people even needed Bread Run. I mean some of the houses were big, bigger than hers, and the lawns were mowed, and the cars in the driveway were pretty spiffy, and she always thought, hey, who's helping who here?
That is when Look Again Lizzie had to step in. She reminded Lizzie
Legalist that looks can be deceiving. She told her someone in that house might be sick, or recently bereaved or suffering from more personalities than she. That it might not even be their house, they might be house-sitting. That we can never judge, ever. Never tell how long or dark someone's road is or what might lie around the bend.
This shut the Legalist down completely. But then, Lizzie Logistics weighed in. She said, think about it: six people, three cars, time, petrol, risk, all for twenty dollars worth of bread.
I mean, how sustainable is this process?
Actually, I thought Logistics had a point, if you forgot about that long dark road.
But you can't forget that highway, not for a minute, because, let's face it we are all on a journey. At different stages in our lives that road may be rocky, lonesome, smooth, downhill or twisted. The only thing keeping us going might be the little brightly coloured stones we find along the way. And that's when it hit me. Bread Run is not about the bread (or the scones), the time, logistics or the legalities, it is about – dropping stones.
About putting something bright down on a dark path, and somehow lightening the load.