I baked bread last week. The smell of it filled my tiny little studio for 4 extensive hours while I desperately waited for the moment it was just right, for the moment I could cut into the crusty, warm french variety I adore and enjoy the overtly pleasurable experience of a simple loaf of fresh bread. As I indulged, with butter and preserves no less, I found myself intrigued how this experience parallels the start of any good relationship.
A precise mixture of ingredients, in just the right order. Slow, determined kneading. A resting/rising period followed by an even longer cooking time. You watch the bread slowly rise, developing a nice golden-brown crust. Then once you can finally eat it, all the pain-staking waiting is worth it a hundred times over. Relationships are like this (the good ones, anyway). You meet someone, you start to add bits and pieces of yourself and they also contribute some personal ingredients. The kneading process is where you realize the relationship has the potential to proceed or it flunks, deflates, falls apart and it can't be made into that warm, soft, delicious bread. The baking part is the real work. Hours and days and months and years of a slow fire building up, continually rising the bread and easing it into that delicious state. You don't have to wait till it's finished to enjoy it because the smell and warmth fills up your kitchen and is just as delectable to the soul.