I am in an old bakery in Maastricht with a camp sister. The bakery is running. It works the old fashioned way in which a water mill provides the power to turn the wheels and stones that crush the grains into flour. It smells like fresh bread. Here I am in an old bakery again, just like months ago when I was sitting in a bakery in Zutphen, drinking coffee and reconnecting with another camp sister.

Because that is what we are. Sisters. Even though it has been 7 or even 8 years since we saw each other last as 15-year-old girls. After our summer Camp Rising Sun we went our own ways. We all studied in different places in the world. Finishing chapters, opening up new chapters. Finding new jobs or new destinations to travel to. We all developed beautiful relationships and became single ladies, fell in love again and the story continues. However for some magical reason I end up in a some special bakery with either one of the wonderful women on random Saturday mornings in 2016.

The question is why. Why these women? Why me? Why the bakeries? As we are sharing stories from the past weeks, months and years in our lives, we slowly find each other again. Get familiar again with each others characters and we discover that not much has changed in those years. Essentially we still are the same people, which is proof that the connections formed at camp were real. In the truest meaning of the word. Real connections that show you who someone really is without having to pretend your life is prettier than it actually is.

The comfort of bakeries isn’t just in the coffee, the smell of fresh bread of Limburgse vlaai. In a bakery you feel the need to pay real attention to craftsmanship of baking., a process that requires time and patience. Surrounded by the atmosphere of long histories as well as fresh beginnings every day, it feels like magic. It’s like a metaphor for each of our lives. Waiting, developing, rising and eventually developing into this beautiful end product. We have a long way to go, but all believe that things happen for a reason. In some way we all needed to be in those bakeries on those Saturday mornings. I am truly grateful for each moment I shared and will continue to share with these ladies.

If you ever find yourself in one of the two cities, these bakeries are definitely worth a visit: Driekant Ambachtscentrum in Zutphen and Bakkerij and Graanbakkerij Bisschopsmolen in Maastricht.