My daughter Isabel is a gifted dancer. She demonstrates her gifts every day with her devotion to ballet, a classical dance form that comes from within her as much as it springs from a tradition that has been cultivated across the centuries. Dance is something she simply can do. Her talent springs hope eternal. Her hope is her craft, her hard work is her passion. With it comes her willingness to devote herself to something she loves.
Devotion to craft is a Bray family trait. I say this with all humility, we are each devoted to doing what we do in the best way we can do it. Al, my husband, is a writer whose stories are filled with as much heart as they are with love and imagery. He works hard at his writing every day. Clark, my son, is as solid a human being as a human being can be. That may seem an unusual way to describe a nineteen year old young man, but he brings the gravitas of a sage to everything he does, even while his humor, his ability to laugh, his ability to make others laugh is, in the moment, as light as the sun streaming in through my window at sunrise.
Me, I honestly don’t think I can describe myself in the terms I have used for the rest of my family, but I know that I try hard to seek excellence in what I do. It is all about the connections, because for me, there is no sound of one hand clapping, it makes no difference if the sun rises or a tree falls in the woods, without the connection of human experience.
So, if I can bring a little bit of this passion we Brays feel to you through these pages, if my words and photos and recipes encourage you to find and nourish and connect with your best self, well, I might have the courage to say: “Job well done, Dena!”