What are you doing? How are you? These are the questions we ask daily people we meet. Usually, the answer can be: I’m fine. I am very well. It could be better. Or they could be: It is not good at all. I wish I was not born.
However, regardless of our feelings, we try to welcome our loved ones or newcomers into our homes. We try or even forget how well or wrong we feel and try to make them feel good. The way we do this varies and depends on each of us. But there are, and still are, ways to greet guests that have been around since ancient times. As an example, the Romanians have always received their guests with bread and salt.
Why bread? Why salt?
According to the dictionary, bread is a basic human food, prepared from a flour dough (wheat, rye, etc.) and ingredients…
We bake bread mixing water and flour and adding salt and other ingredients. The flour used can be white, black, rye flour. It is the same with us, humans. Each of us is like a loaf of bread in different shapes, sizes, and colours. Nevertheless, every dough is made with the love of those who conceived and raised us. Every day we grow, we “bake” in the oven of the life experiences we live. Then slowly, slowly, we begin to lose water, to dry out, to crumble, and our life comes to an end. Thus, bread is as it is known, a symbol of life and a symbol of love.
Bread – like real love – took time, cultivation, strong loving hands and patience. It lived, rising and growing to fruition only under the most perfect circumstances.Melissa Hill
I said in another article that salt is essential to life.
If I go back to the dictionary, salt is defined as a crystalline substance, crumbly, soluble in water and with a specific taste, which is a basic ingredient in the diet…
We use sugar in cookies, and salt for food. We need both sugar and salt, for we need both of them in our lives, and as human beings, we have both in our bodies. Salt contains 40 per cent sodium, and our body uses it to maintain fluid levels. While the tear is salty, the blood contains sugar.
Like any ingredient, too much or too little salt can cause imbalances. Too much or too little can be the physical causes of different diseases. Too much or too little becomes destructive.
If bread is a symbol of life, its food, the fruit of work and love, salt also has its value. For millennia, salt has been the most expensive commodity in the trade, a unit of exchange and payment for those who worked. Not in vain, salt has named the gold of antiquity.
Bread and salt together become a sign of peace, respect and love given to all who cross our threshold.
What about the candle, and its light?
According to the dictionary, a candle is an object made of wax or other solidified fat, with a textile wick in the middle, which, when lit, burns with a flame, producing light.
Candles may be used for emergency lighting during electrical power failures and religious or ritual purposes. We use candles for their aesthetic value, too. It is because their warm glows may create a soft and warm atmosphere of love. Its natural flame stimulates our senses. It is never the same with artificial light and its distractions.
In ancient times, candles symbolized the divine. In ancient Greek philosophy and science, fire is one of the four classical elements. It is one of the four basic elements (called temperaments) of spirituality. In many cultures, it is known as a symbol of wisdom and knowledge.
It may symbolize passion, birth, rebirth, hope, destruction. Moreover, fire is often associated with energy, assertiveness, and passion.
No matter where we are, the sight of a burning flame brings us back home. It is because candles flames bring us peace and tranquillity.
Sometimes neither a friend nor a psychologist can enter the depths of your soul, but only the flames of a candle or a fireplace.Mehmet Murat Ildan
Bread, salt and … a candle
Each of us is a drop of divinity (a small candle) and salt into the dough (bread) of life.
By offering bread and salt to those who cross our threshold, we recognize their divinity, the light that is in them, as it is in us. We offer people respect and love.
Follow the light of the soul within you, and if you give it to other people, it does not diminish, but shines even brighter.Zamolxe’s Laws (21)
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