This Monday, Breezy Kelly’s hands will be dancing through flour as she skilfully bakes for her annual ‘Bake Bread for Peace’ day.
While her loaves rise in the oven, she’ll be throwing open her windows to let the ‘aroma of peace’ drift in four directions.
For the past eight years, Breezy has promoted the peace and harmony that comes with baking and breaking bread together.
Her philosophy is a simple one: Peace begins at home.
This year, Breezy has been seeking solace and comfort in bread even more than usual after losing her home and belongings in a fire earlier this year. The thatched cottage where she was living in Glenties, known locally as The Fiddlers Rest, went up in flames in March, but fortunately Breezy escaped uninjured.
“On Monday I am going to be thinking about how blessed I am,” Breezy says. “I will be asking Bridget to shower us all with the blessings we need most, globally.”
It’s been a difficult year for Breezy, but despite the challenges she’s faced she plans to break bread with her neighbours again at the Glenties bridge on Monday.
“What I am doing myself in the town, it’s a global thing, every year it’s growing and people are gathering as family and friends, opening the window and letting the aroma of peace go in four directions to fill the world with peace.”
Bread International Bake Bread for Peace Day is now celebrated annually in many states in America, and in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Greece and of course Ireland. There will also be events held in Venezuela, El Salvador, Guatemala, Singapore and Taiwan. This year Australia has been added to the list.
All you have to do is gather with family or friends, bake bread and share it with others. Alternatively, if you do not have the means to bake, you could buy a loaf in your local bakery and break bread in your own way.
“Bread is common to all people. To me, it is my medicine,” Breezy said.
“When the fire happened on a Saturday evening. On the Sunday morning all I wanted to do was to get my hands into flour.”
More than €17,000 has been raised to support the restoration of Breezy’s cottage, which is owned by singer-songwriter Tommy Sands and his wife Catherine. Sadly, the pre-famine home was reduced to a shell in the blaze and it is estimated that it will take a great deal more funds to restore. If enough money is gathered the house will be rebuilt and if it isn’t then the money will be donated to a homeless charity.
“There is a lesson in everything,” Breezy said. “I am determined that only good is going to come out of this in some shape, form or fashion.”
Breezy’s journey has been a long one, from the hills of Donegal to the steps of Stormont, to the Palace in Munich and everywhere in between. She’s travelled to schools, homes and organisations in Ireland and abroad to celebrate the baking of bread.
Her annual initiative is not a fundraiser, Breezy states: “You can’t buy Peace, you have to make it and then share it.”
“We just want people to participate in an initiative that will bring them joy and peace. Together we will make a difference.”
If you are taking part in Bake Bread for Peace Day this Monday, please share your photos or videos to @bakebreadforpeace on Facebook or Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of Breezy’s favourite recipes are available here to get you started: https://bakebreadforpeace.weebly.com/recipes.html