Isadora lived alone. Her small cottage was a twenty minute walk down a nameless trail into the woods outside of Salem. She had recently come into the community from Nova Scotia. Had it been ten years earlier things might have been different. Instead she just remained a friendly mystery. The cottage had been empty for years. Its last resident was accused of being a witch. Another way the town was trying to forget.
Every day she would quietly meander through the forest collecting pieces of wood for her fireplace. A thin yet constant stream of smoke would dance from an intricately crafted stone cylinder that weaved through the roof of her wood home throughout the days. That September provided a darkness that was particularly brisk. The night’s dry quiet chill often underscored by the whistling of a soft breeze and the rustling of chattering leaves. They remember because that winter was hard to forget. She would collect branches that had fallen from the night’s conversation with the wind. Always certain to have what was necessary to keep her flame flickering through the night. She walked carrying a sturdy yet improvised rucksack for collecting sticks. The vibrant colors of autumn strewn across the forest floor creating holes in the canopy where sun and stars would throw patches of light on to the ground reminding all that tread that they are guided.
A hermit by nature, one of her passions was baking bread. It was her currency that enabled her to afford what she needed. She had a recipe that had been passed down through the ages. Its origins have since been lost into the space of time. Legend has it the recipe originally came from a distant relative who lived in what is known as present day Armenia. The mystery that surrounds Isadora inspired many legends. Putting her into a box made things safe for the community and at times exciting. So perhaps that was just one of the many tales that was told over the years designed from the curious minds of creative onlookers. For those that ate her bread it was said to be a surprising journey around the palette with a subtle yet intoxicating effect that inspired play and aroused the creative imagination in those that ingested it. This made it easy to sell. To this day its exact recipe is still unknown outside of the family though cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin, seeds, walnuts, lemon zest, apples, lavender and a choir of other complimentary indescribable flavors were said to be sensed on the palate of those that were fortunate enough to taste her creation. Each bite producing a symphony of notes that created this moment. This chord of love.
It was said that the bread was baked on a specific pan that had a strange symbol engraved into it. The inside of the bread was thick yet tender. The crust crispy, textured with a variety of seeds, and finely ground nuts. Fruit pressed firmly against the golden hue of the crust. It was said that one of the secret ingredients was from the nectar of a flower that was dripped into the fabric of the dough that weaved a ribbon of something that likened to maple and molasses taking people on a slightly sweet journey into, on and around their palate. It had a euphoric effect on all those that experienced it. Its aroma awoke the senses of creativity and sensuality. There was something almost sexual about it. Something that, after taking it in, marinated over time, like an edible muse into the fabric of people's souls for hours.
It was stimulating.
It was nourishing.
It was life.
It was Love.