Nativity sets captivate me (I have a growing collection of them). And frankly, so does cheese. Strange how 2 very disparate entities can be entwined so seamlessly, but watch this video and you'll see...
... Sustenance, nourishment, simplicity, universality, stillness, meekness, grace, a gift to mankind. Both the nativity and cheese have an inherit immutability about them. I've wondered what it is that draws folks like John Putnam to leave a successful career in law or Petra Cooper who left her job as a publishing exec, to embrace a labored life of cheesemaking. Could it be a spiritual pilgrimage or a foray into the creative realm of inspired art?
For me, the essence of cheese (yes, you read that correctly) reminds me that we are more than what we make with the toil of our hands, and the beautiful result pressed and aged in a wheel tells of something greater at work-- an Omnipresence orchestrating the rains to grow the grasses for the cows to enjoy, to the milk extracted from the hands of faithful hands--tells of a premeditated power at work in the universe.
And nativity scenes engender a similar thought pattern in me... They make you stop for a moment to think of the story being told in it, and if you're really open to it, you might see the connection that Christmas is more than a very expensive holiday, and cheese is more than a favorite pizza topping. Angelo Frosio, the Italian cheesemaker in this news clip, seems to be thinking of something more.
Maybe that's the reason why I love cheese and nativity scenes so much-- they remind me I am part of a much bigger picture, I'd like to think of it as work of the biggest masterpiece known to mankind. I don't know about you, but to me the very thought gives me peace in a troubled world, and beckons my heart towards goodwill to those around me near and far.