Steve Barnes' World of Happiness

The Age of Scones' traditional spirit.

My personal journey into the world of scones feels somewhat about tradition, which I can't help reflect on. I didn't set out to bake the American-style scones I used to buy, but the halvable cylinders usually served with jam and heavily pictured in an image search for "tea and scones."

These are fairly close to heated flour, and out of all things one could bake, heated flour sounds about the least exciting. But it's that driving idea, this rather comical "ah, yes," intoned to myself with a dignity most unmerited, at the idea that so many people have enjoyed so many scones with so many cups of tea over so many decades, that beckons me.

Silly as this particular nod to tradition sounds, I think it's close to the appropriate consideration of traditions generally, especially anything culturally-contained. There are a few traditions I embrace and take seriously (e.g. critical thinking, outspoken support for empiricism and reason), and many I reject (a consistent bedtime, the presumed celebration of calendar birthdays or common holidays, the quest for a personal vehicle or a telephone), which leaves me with a fairly blank slate, and fresh chances to sample the supposed significance of a tradition without the burdensome feelings of undue profundity or weight. I've found myself witnessing too many life-changing decisions such as college embarkations, imitative career paths, and (perhaps most of all) weddings, and asking "are they only half-thinking this through, coasting on the notion this is just 'what one does'?", not to follow that question to its depths on behalf of myself. I encourage anyone else to do the same.

This path may not bring me endless delicious scones, but it has brought me many, and I believe there will be many more.