Senior Rachael Moss, WMS communications and marketing intern, shares her college essay.
The tantalizing smell of freshly baked bread wafts from the large wood-burning oven, as it always does. Flour rises from the hardwood floors, coating my bare feet as if they were about to be fried. I wander from room to room, looking for empty plates, glasses, or mouths, but find none. Breathing deeply, I sit at the kitchen counter, taking a break for the first time since I rode my bike over to this bakery earlier in the evening. Although this house is considered a business, it is more of a community than anything else.
My connection with the bakery began when my family band was looking for venues in which to share our music. Stumbling upon a small advertisement in the local newspaper for an open mic. night down the road from our house, we decided to go. We soon realized that we were experiencing a unique community of music-loving people. Weekly open mic. performances became a staple of my summer life. Without many other eight year olds to play hopscotch with in the small town, I played with my bass guitar. Children back in my hometown delighted in chasing ice cream trucks that played their tune; I relished the moments when I played my tunes for avid listeners. The initial tentative playing soon became a harmony of skill and confidence during our performances. In subsequent summers my family lost interest in performing, while I developed my own unique comedic musical performance encouraged by my community. I flourished under the love of a family bound by music, rather than blood. Intriguing natural personalities, experimental original music, and organic food continued to teach me about the world.
Changes are more apparent to those who are not in the constant presence of them. I saw the changes in the community, as it saw the changes in me. Over the summers this community taught me many lessons. By playing music with strangers and friends alike, I’ve learned to have confidence in myself, to constantly improve, to not be afraid of making mistakes, and to communicate in the global language of music. That connection of sharing and building experiences through expression, community, food, and love, is an international recipe for happiness. I hope to take these skills of communication and love for humanity and apply them to my life as I explore what it means to be a human around the world. What I look forward to is being a part of small and large communities, learning from them, and giving back however I can to make a difference. I know that I have an obligation to make money, but I also have an overwhelming need to take care of my communities that influence my development as a human being. I do not receive payment for working at the bakery, but the experience of being surrounded by a nurturing environment is payment enough.
Whether giving back to my community comes from participating democratically or simply helping farms during a busy season, when I’m making a difference and giving back is how I’m the most content. When I think about being truly content, I imagine the aroma of fresh bread enveloping me like a perfume, knowing that I belong and contribute to a community bigger than myself.