life according to me

life according to me

Salt Lamps and Earthquakes in Paradise

My oldest son gave me a halite rock salt crystal lamp ionizer last year. I was pleasantly surprised because I had seen the lamps glowing eerily in shops I’d strolled through before, wondering what they were, and thought them beautiful. I knew absolutely nothing about them however, and was fascinated to find sources that report that the lamps can improve the number of negative ions in the air of a room when lit. And that they can also assist in the improvement of respiratory allergies and other conditions such as asthma. That they can increase alertness. Create an atmosphere of calming, balancing, refreshing…clean. Clearly, this young man took one look at his mom, and detecting an impending implosion, got a salt lamp to me as quickly as possible.

A year later, I’m wondering if my son owns one. He can’t breathe, is allergic to just about everything, and has asthma. He has a job he detests and is trying to go to school. I’m thinking he needs one of these lamps.

I recently moved the lamp from our family room to my bedside table. I noticed that because I hadn’t kept it lit, it began to sweat as I had read it would — especially in humid conditions. It sweat so much, I had to place a saucer beneath it to keep it from ruining the shelf it was sitting on. Now, it serves as a night light of sorts. The amber colored light it casts is much more pleasant to fall asleep by, and since the weather is still warm enough to require all our windows be open at night, it prevents anyone from looking into our room after dark. They may wonder what the unearthly glow is, however.
Rock Salt Lamp I know there are sources which will contradict the stated benefits of salt lamps. I also know there are sources that will question just how the salt is mined, and whether the conditions for the workers are safe. I have to admit I wondered about those things as well. I believe many of us are just wired in that fashion. But I also know that the lamp is gorgeous, and does bring a sense of calm just by lighting it — much the same way that lighting a candle brings.

Skeptics always have and will continue to poo-poo anything that isn’t explainable by cold hard facts. They rely on logic and science for everything. I do when it’s convenient, or I feel the need to win an argument, but once in a while, it’s lovely to wonder and to give in to other possibilities. To feel grateful for a thoughtful gift from someone you love without having to think about logic.

I’m now wondering about the difference in life span between hard-nosed skeptics, and dreamers. I think that being on a cranky quest to squash everyone else’s beliefs has got to be something that creates quite a few positive ions. And in much the same way those tiny personal fans were created for individuals who wanted to blow away another’s cigarette smoke, I think tiny, portable salt lamps just may be necessary to ward off the evils of chronic naysayers.

Besides, I’ve discovered yet another benefit of using a rock salt lamp.

Yesterday, in one of my myriad toss and turn sessions during the night, I heard a distinctive sound. It was a persistent, steady light dinging — one seeming to be very close. I instantly recognized it, and after a second of recognizing, opening my eyes, stopping my breathing to rise on an elbow, knew that it wasn’t The Big scratching a flea. The salt lamp doesn’t fit quite snugly into its saucer, so it was rocking steadily to the movement of the earth. I looked at the MoH, who hadn’t removed the arm he likes to position over his face. Earthquake, I told him, and laid back down to go back to sleep.

Later in the day we did see on a news commercial that there had been a mild earthquake just off the coast where we live — with a magnitude of only 3.7… “You were right,” the MoH confirmed, granting me credit for my knowledge. The MoH is a skeptic at heart, although would disagree with that, finding it to be a criticism or flaw in his character instead of one of the many idiosyncrasies we all have as less than perfect humans. I had intended to check the US Geological Survey website earlier in the day, but forgot.

Earthquake Sunday 9-9

Cal Tech’s So Cal Shake Movie

After the news commercial, my father-in-law said mentioned he’d read the “big one” was coming. I remembered years ago reading Last Days of the Late, Great State of California by Curt Gentry in which much of the Left Coast breaks off and either separates from the continent, or sinks into the Pacific. My father-in-law continued by saying that the date for the occurrence had been moved up by ten years or so and we had a bit of discussion on the number and intensity of earthquakes in the Pacific Rim over the past couple of months. But the discussion wasn’t enough to distract any of the others visiting my sister-in-law’s home for a nephew’s birthday from the football game they were watching.

Later last night, I asked my middle son if he had felt the earthquake. There was an earthquake? he answered, and then told me The Big One was coming. I wondered whether he’d been talking to my father-in-law and whether I was the only one who didn’t think this was new information. I did try to find recent information about The Big One, but nothing more recent than last year came up. Somehow, I’m more concerned about getting out of this chair and getting some exercise, or reorganizing my kitchen cupboards. Or something. Put together emergency earthquake kits?

A family disaster plan? Well, we’ve talked about it.

But not today. I can breathe more easily dreaming that while my salt rock is improving the air in my bedroom, it will also let me know that The Big One has arrived before my house falls into the one within spitting distance of either next door. And increase the likelihood that I will be more calm. And alert.
More calm while alert.

I did not get in line for calm when I was being made.

It’s on my list for next time.



11 thoughts on “Salt Lamps and Earthquakes in Paradise”

  • I found you through BlogCatalog & also found this post really interesting. I’ve never heard of salt lamps before, but now I’m intrigued. Seems like such a thoughtful present from your son 🙂 I have my skeptical moments, but I like to think I’m a dreamer & can believe in things like that deep down. I also hope that ‘The Big One’ is a long, long, long time off from now. I’ll be visiting again!

  • I love my salt lamp – but it is interesting that only people in CA have heard of them. Maybe we do all need them when we float away in the ocean. I am thinking that isn’t a bad idea – floating away in the ocean…

  • Hi Sarah! Thanks for the kudos…the salt lamp is lovely even if it is just to admire. Since my husband has allergies, too, it will be interesting to see if he’s affected in any way the the negative ions. Could be like a placebo…=)

  • Hi Beth. I’m not surprised that we Californians are again “out there.” At least it’s nice to be out there and thinking about being mellow, right? And floating in the ocean is quite lovely. The only problem I’m having right now is that it’s cold, so I’m too chicken to get in!

  • I don’t live in California and have two. I don’t know if they work or not but love the light and the slightly salty air that they impart

    Thanks for commenting on my blog today. Means a lot

  • Hey Pia! What a pleasant surprise. Glad to hear you have a couple of the lamps. I agree they’re lovely. And just to say it here as well, your writing is wonderful. You and Cooper both contributed to my delinquency today since I’m supposed to be working!

  • well.. i live in marin,, and i have never heard of a salt lamp either,,, i am a low light kinda girl… never use anything over a 7 watt bulb… and let me say… i DO look marvelous….

    where did you get that thing???

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