This proverb was quoted by Great-grand-father to accustom his family members to leading a balanced and frugal life. As for me, since I was a greedy and always hungry child, my mother kept repeating it to me very often.
At that time, most of Enna’s families used to make bread in their home wood-burning ovens. Of course, even then there were bakeries that sold bread, but they weren’t as numerous as today.
To make bread at home, housewives kept a supply of wheat flour in a chest. It was also possible to make pasta from flour. Bread and pasta were the staple food of the population. In the more well-to-do families, meat was also eaten, but only once a week.
What does the proverb mean? It means, “Do not eat too much and soon, otherwise the flour in the chest will run out and you will run the risk of starving. In fact, you can save flour as long as there is some in the chest. After there is no flour, you will have nothing left to save.” The proverb is a call for thriftiness.
In modern terms, more understandable to our twenty-first century society, the saying goes, “You can save money as long as you have it. When you run out of money in your pocket you will have nothing to save.”
Is this old proverb still relevant in our consumer society, where advertising and mass media push us to spend more and more? In my opinion the proverb is still valid. I think humble life leads us not to run out of something we need. So we can enjoy our life moderately, in the middle way.
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily (English edition)
– A Hidden Sicilian History (English edition)
– The Vibrations of Words (English edition)
– Travels of the Mind (English edition)
– Una Storia Siciliana Nascosta (edizione in lingua italiana)
– Viaggi della Mente (edizione in lingua italiana)