This post is not about how to dye margarita salt, though I would advise using a few drops of beet juice were you to try. It is about a tin of pink margarita salt gifted by my dad a few birthdays before he passed.
Becoming the father of a baby girl introduced him to a world of wild curls, strawberry picking, and pink. While it is not my favorite color, one could argue the opposite, particularly staring at a dresser full of stuffed animals, which my father would do nightly.
“What’s this one’s name?”
“And what about this one?”
The people I love are every age at once. My father is also the blonde-haired baby in a Gerber contest and the dark-haired Marine with a thin wisp of smoke escaping his lips. It blends into the haze of the day – his exhalation meeting the sky. I look at photos like this and want to ask him why he was turned to the side when his friends were facing forward, to where they were headed by ship that day. Mostly they make up part of the instant in which I see him, every age at once, even the ages before he was my father.
He certainly saw all my ages, and I think he did so in an instant as well, revealing this with gifts of pink even in my adulthood – most notably a pool cue – and most recently pink salt. When I rifle in the pantry for flour or pasta, my tin of salt is there, tucked in the corner, just slightly in frame. I’m not even sure anyone else has noticed it.
Pink salt becomes an oxymoron when you try to name it other ways. Sweet sadness. Joyful pain. It is my childhood color threaded through to adulthood, when I lost my father and felt the joy of being loved at all ages in one instant.