There is a lot of value in just cutting to the chase, saying what you have to say and then seeing how things go from there. After all, we all have shorter (and more ignitable) attention spans these days...So, here goes:
In making that video, or really, even before, when we were just beginning to consider how we might share our closing and more importantly speak of our sentiment about closing, I spent a great deal of time doing the opposite, by remembering how we got started with the bakery. How we thrived in the uncertainty, took strength in the unknown and shared as a family in the sheer and utter joy and anticipation of beginning something new, something strange and unfamiliar, a thing only we had as of yet imagined.
There is something powerful in that, in being the only one to know the future shape of a thing. It's invigorating, filling the days and nights with an intoxicating sense of exhilaration. It's like coming home after a long, long time away, or going away for the first time in a long while. It's different. New. A Change.
It reminded me of a song from the coming of age Disney movie, Brother Bear, written and performed by Phil Collins called, On My Way. In the film, the title character—a young, impulsive boy-turned-bear-cub—is launched into a crazy, courageous journey to finding his true self. The soundtrack is one of our family favorites, even now, with the kids grown and mostly on their own, and one we come back to again and again for entertainment, inspiration and insight. If you’re not familiar, take a moment to give a listen at the link above. It’s okay, this can wait.
Nice, huh? Moving. Implicitly meaningful. All the things you want a song to be. This one, in particular, captures the kind of coming-of-age adventure we all wish we’d taken when we were younger, and of which maybe some of us did. Maybe some can only wish they had. Maybe they’re hoping instead for a coming of middle-age adventure, which is fine, too. Adventure is adventure.
Four years ago, Franca and I began this journey as bakers and business owner’s. It was a change made without fully knowing where it might end, or what it would require of us, as a couple, and as a family. The only thing we knew for certain was that there was no place we’d rather be than there, in that bakery, in eastern NC, making breads and other fine foods. Enjoying a quiet, fine life. In a quiet, fine town. Happily content doing work we love for others we love.
But, as the little boy in the Disney film discovered, life is not a destination, it’s a direction and directions change—sometimes wildly and dramatically—especially in terms of using one’s own agency to flourish, to find purpose and work. And so now it is with a determined stare that we turn to the next chapter in our lives, without knowing fully what comes next.
As Franca says in the video, it has been a gift, and we, too, we believe, have been a gift, to Tarboro. With that in mind, we offer a new song, one that adequately speaks to approaching life with the goal of living to one’s full potential, embracing our fullest, most authentic self. For that—as would any sane person—we turn to Freddy Mercury:
Thank you all who made this trip so very, very special! We love you and could not have done this without you! It truly has been a treasure of an adventure.
Steve, Franca, and the entire Gilbert Family