The spiritual serenity of simplicity and stillness

I was peeling a turnip the other day — it was New Year’s Day, actually — when thoughts began to occur to me.

Not that this is a rare occurrence, me having thoughts. Peeling turnips is a rarity, though.

But as I contemplated the purplish, globe-shaped vegetable in my hand, here at the beginning of a new year, it seemed as though I began to be enveloped by a serene, golden glow.

There I was, standing over the kitchen sink in front of a window that looked out upon a wintry scene of bare trees. Gray on gray.

And in the tactile sensation of slicing away with rapid but cautious strokes at the chilled root’s northern hemisphere, I thought of my grandma.

I’m not sure if I actually have a memory of her peeling turnips. But I thought of her — Grandma Porter, my mother’s mama, born in 1889. And I felt somehow connected to a time when the world was less technologically busy.

Electricity hadn’t even come to the Ozarks yet when my mom was growing up. They cooked on a wood stove and got their water from a bucket in a well, like pioneers.

Grandma was a hard worker, but kind and gentle — and never in a hurry. I don’t think she ever got mad, or stressed. She lived well into her 80s.

My mom is much like her. Except for using a walker to get around, she is exactly the same as she’s always been,

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