By Nuala Toland
Breezy Willow is a “one woman peace keeping machine” with only a loaf of bread as her bargaining tool. Breezy Willow (Kelly) from Glenties has traveled the length and breadth of the country over the past 6 years on a peace keeping mission, armed with the basic ingredients for a home baked tradition scone and a pocket full of songs, stories and old traditions. She can hold a room full of people young and not so young equally captivated with her exuberance, wit and simple solutions to much of the dis-ease in the world today.
One minute she is beginning the traditional art of bread making the next she is singing Percy French-Phil the Flutters Ball and taking the unsuspecting onlooker up on the floor for a wee twirl. She can seduce with her poetry use philosophy in her own unique manner to show the importance of making time to part take in the simple task of making bread. The importance of sharing with a younger member of the household, the tactile and therapeutic merits of bread making. This is a time to switch off the tablets, phones and telly and be truly present in the moment. She asks “What must we break apart in order to bring a family closer together?” the answer is Bread of course. Peace in the home leads to peace in the community and so on has a positive ripple effect.
Breezy has been involved in promoting the ancient tradition of home-baking for over 15 years. For over a decade, she was included in the Heritage in Schools scheme which is run by the Heritage council and the I.N.T.O.
Breezy comes from a background where traditions were very important and it was her realisation that these traditions are fast disappearing that prompted her to launch “Sillybucks”, a project whose aim is to collect and record stories, songs, recipes and cooking methods of days gone by.
In 2006 she published a collection of traditional recipes – “Bread, Scones, Stories & Songs” – which is now in the process of its 3rd print. In 2013 she was involved in organizing and facilitating ‘Born and Bread’ project, as part of the ‘One Donegal Cultural Diversity Month’.
Breezy came up with the idea for “Bake Bread for Peace” in 2014 and on October 24th of the same year she organized the first “Bake Bread for Peace” day. Breezy believes that although Bake Bread for Peace Day is now becoming an established date in many individual calendars, it is in fact an ongoing, year-long event. "It is a philosophy, a universal wish, an urge to make a positive change in the world that we are all invited and welcome to take part in."
Breezy wishes to encourage those who wish to organize an evening of Baking, Songs & Stories to contact her. She believes, "Think globally – Act locally, Peace begins at home. All that is required is an invitation, and baking ingredients. Together we can create an evening of Bread, Scones, Stories & Songs and most importantly,
Peace and neighborliness"
text and photos thanks to Nuala Toland
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