I told a story to 5th graders around a campfire last night— the Russian folk tale Salt. The youngest foolish brother (always the hero in these stories) finds a mountain of salt on a deserted island, bags it up and offers it up to a King and Queen who laugh at him trying to sell him some white dust. The boy goes into the kitchen and realizes the cooks know nothing of salt and are cooking without it. When they’re not looking, he sneaks some into all the dishes and when the food is served, the King and Queen are astounded by the taste. When the boy confesses what he did, they happily exchange bags of precious jewels, gold and silver for that “white dust” that makes everything taste more delicious.
Today I’m going to help the 6th grade at my newly-adopted school prepare for their concert next week. Their teacher told me the kids really missed me (haven’t seen them for 6 weeks), but it turns out it was less my charming personality and more the way I helped them sound better when I accompanied them on piano. My way of salting the waters of the music to bring out the full flavor of it all.
So there you have it. There are many ways to help beautify the world, but sometimes it’s as simple as adding your few grains of salt to the mix so that everything tastes even better and becomes more fully itself.