My Grandmother’s Kitchen
Soon it will be 1 year since my Grandmother died. She was 84 and living by herself in a remote village in hills of western Bosnia. Whenever I think about a peaceful place to visit or a place that’s sincere, close to nature, a place of simple love, I think of that particular house, suited in the middle of an old orchard of plum trees. The grass growing beneath them is so soft and tender having been ‘brazed’ by generations of sheep year after year. The smell of wild herbs fill the air.
Of course, I am more than aware that living there is far away from romantic images of being close to nature that many people have in their heads nowdays. She didn’t have runing water in the house – she had to get it from the well every day. All the water – for drinking, cooking, washing dishes, cleaning the floor, washing her clothes, personal hygiene. She had to get up every day to light the fire in the stove to warm the house up and cook the water for coffe. Sometimes (qute often, probably), she even had to chop the wood for the fire. In the snow. In the rain. In the freezing cold. In the evening after a very long hot day of working in the field.
That’s why I feel such respect for her and smetimes even some kind of desire for a simpler life, not cluttered with things that have to be changed, replaced, thrown out or otherwise become obsolete. Her kitchen is a symbol of that desire for me. Here she made some of the best meals that I have tasted (and surely, some of my relatives too). Here is where she cooked vegetables which were grown by her hands.
Whenever I look at my life now I try to focus on the important things. How to reach them and how to keep them. Health, satisfaction, genuine interest for other people. Also fear. I cannot but think about how many things are we preoccupied with – picking up the right cups, wishing for that cappuchino machine, being sad for not getting the right shade of the mixer on the sale… All so important in the moment. And unimportant in the long term perspective. Long time ago I read a very good post on ‘All the dumb things’ that describes almost exactly my feelings regarding the important stuff in our lives.
Think about your kitchen.
What do you do there and how long will your doing it take you? Until you are 84? I hope so.