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  • I was four when my parents took me to visit the salt mine in Krakow.

    When the tour was over we sat in a little café at the mines.
    My parents had coffee and I had hot milk colored with coffee.
    The tables had little dishes of white crystal with spoons, so I took a big scoop for my milk.
    Being an American, even at 4 years, I assumed the dishes were sugar.
    A group of children at the next table began to wave and yell.
    “Sol, sol.”
    I did not understand until I took my first sip.
    I had just poured salt into my drink.

    Years passed. I learned to draw,learned to carve and developed a taste for art and at one point a near obsession with medieval and early Renaissance sculpture, facades of Cathedrals, elaborate decoration and the carved city of Petra.

    I had dreams in which I saw monumental carvings that did not resemble anything I could find in books.

    One night my husband and I were in a hotel with a big cable TV.
    He looked through the directory and said “There is a documentary about a salt mine in Poland, you interested?”

    I was about to tell my salt story, but he anticipated that and turned the channel.
    When you have been with someone for 28 years you get to know the stories.

    The program began. We were sprawled out in the room, each of us piled up with pillows on the giant bed. The program was interesting and the scenes of Krakow stirred vague memories of eating porridge at a country Inn.

    And then we entered the Chapel of Saint Kinga.
    “Jeff that’s it, that is the place I dream about.”
    “Wow,” was an appropriate response to the elaborate carved salt room we saw on our screen.
    A cathedral carved in salt.

    “Wow”, echoed in my heart, bounced off of the walls of my inner sanctum, roared in my ears. I had retained so much.

    In my dreams so much of my experience had been preserved.
    By salt.
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