Monday, September 15, 2008


Monday, September 15, 2008

Life is short.

Much of it goes by while we're not paying attention.

Before we know it, it's gone and with it the chance to become the authentic person we are meant to be. An authentic person adds to the world around them by fulfilling that which she was put here to do; adding substance, light and love. This blog is meant to give flavor, help identify and preserve the authentic in each of us and add light to life in the 21st century.

The name of this blog was chosen quite deliberately. In ancient days, salt and light were basic elements of survival. Salt did not just give food flavor, it was the primary method of food preservation. If you couldn't mine for -- or trade for -- enough salt, you couldn't preserve enough food against the winter months. Your family would face starvation. Salt was so important that the fables of many ancient cultures include folk tales about salt.

A favorite Eastern European folk tale of my daughter (who was born in Pskov, Russia and brought home to America at age three) is the tale Salt Is Sweeter Than Gold, in which a dying king wants to find out how much his three daughters love him so he knows how to divide his kingdom. His youngest daughter tells him that she “loves him more than salt,” which the proud king considered to be an insulting answer. The king banishes her and decides to throw a banquet to celebrate giving the kingdom to his two remaining daughters. A terrible storm washes away all the salt in the kingdom, the food spoils and the people are hungry. Soon, the importance of the princess's declaration and the gift she brings, means the survival of the kingdom and demonstrates the depth of her love to her father.

Where is your salt? What flavor do you find in the world...and what do you add?

Just as salt meant food, light -- fire -- was survival against the dark unknown. The beasts of the great forests of the world were voracious. Light kept the wolves at bay. Light kept the terrors of the night, some real, some imagined outside the walls of the castle, or the hovel. Light meant life.

What is the source of your light? Does it emanate from something temporal? Or is it eternal? Do you reflect it onward or hide it away?

I hope you return to Salt, Light & Life again, as I explore these questions....the answers you and I uncover together, I believe, can add all three to the world.


Sora said...

Although the histories behind salt and light are not new, the idea of finding one's salt and light makes me question some of my intentions. As a student, I work towards a helping career which may not increase my salt, but may increase my light. What is the cost of having one but not the other, when both are necessary? How long can one be sustained?
A fascinating metaphor. I will continue to ponder it. Thank you for sharing it with me.

Nicholas said...

...the salt of the earth...

Larry said...

Both salt and light are references/illustrations that have been used for a long time. I think of the biblical references of Jesus talking about salt that has "lost it's savor," and your light being hidden "under a bushel."

In either case, the operative concept is action--what are we going to do with our particular variety of salt and our intensity/hue of light that the Lord has given us. Too little salt is bland, too much is overwelming; absence of light is darkness, but too much light is blinding.

What we learn in this journey through life is how to wisely and judiciously use our salt and light.