Kindness to others that comes in sometimes the simplest of things

Published 5:43 pm Thursday, December 19, 2013

We need some pines to assuage the darkness
when it blankets the mind,
we need a silvery stream that banks as smoothly
as a plane’s wing, and a worn bed of
needles to pad the rumble that fills the mind,
and a blur or two of a wild thing
that sees and is not seen. We need these things
between appointments, after work,
and, if we keep them, then someone someday,
lying down after a walk
and supper, with the fire hole wet down,
the whole night sky set at a particular
time, without numbers or hours, will cause
a little sound of thanks-a zipper or a snap-
to close round the moment and the thought
of whatever good we did.
– Marvin Bell, “Around Us”

Last night, a bright winter moon bloomed over a sky of black velvet: the air so clear, so cold.
On nights like that, River dog and I stand outside and watch the long night shadows, the bright stars and planets, the moon in all her glory.
All that can make you realize how small you really are in this world; yet all that radiance in the heavens never fails to fill the heart with awe and wonder, kind of like people: those stars’ faces shining, radiating. I look in the eyes of people in this community, and there are those night stars shining through hugs and love, caring souls that think of one another, a knitting of lives and days.
There is the kindness to others that comes in sometimes the simplest of things: homemade soup, a heirloom quilt, a ride, cardboard boxes, a smile, a hug, a phone call.
This is a community that loves one another. Love doesn’t die, it just hangs up there in the stars, bright as ever; or a sparkle in someone’s eyes: reflecting back.
In honor of beloved Saluda artist Bill Ryan, a special endowment has been created at Tryon Painters & Sculptors. His partner Jim Boyle was surprised with the news at Saluda’s Hometown Christmas — there was hardly a dry eye in the house, and a glow of love all around. A big thank you goes to Olivia Broody, who conceived the idea and put the wheels in motion to get the ball rolling.
Need a special gift that will help Saluda and last longer than the holidays? Consider a brick paver for Pace Park with the name of your choice engraved. Proceeds go toward building public restrooms at this community park to be located downtown near M.A. Pace Store; for additional information, contact Catherine Ross at 828-749-3534 or
Please consider a donation to Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) this holiday season! Contact SCLT at 828-749-1560 or visit
American Health Care Association (AHCA) announced that Autumn Care of Saluda earned the Tier Two recognition level as part of the AHCA’s Quality Initiative Recognition Program. Autumn Care residents would appreciate a visit, a card, or a kind gesture during the holidays. Autumn Care of Saluda is located at 501 Esseola Drive; for more information call 828-749-2261.
Saluda School will be on break from Dec. 20 through Jan. 2. Happy holidays to teachers and students.
Drop by Heartwood Gallery at 21 Main Street, Saluda to pick up friendship star ornaments being sold as a Christmas Community fundraiser to benefit Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry.
Don’t forget if you’re over 60 and need meals delivered or to borrow medical equipment, the Saluda Center’s Meals on Wheels Program can help you out. They also can use volunteers. Contact Donna at 828-749-9245. If you haven’t yet seen the new closed-in former back deck area at Saluda Center, you’re in for a real treat. There’s a beautiful stone fireplace that warms the room on a chilly winter evening, making it perfect for gatherings year-round.
Happy December birthday to Judy Ward, Holly Wilkes, Theresa Wilkes, Perry Ellwood, Donnie Hunter, Jeff Bradley, Preston Mintz, Carolyn Morgan, Susan Casey, Jeff Jenkins, Nikki Ammerman, Cas Haskell and Mary O. Ratcliffe. Please add your birthday to the list.
Thank you for reading this column; as ever, the goal is to make you, dear reader, feel like you’re enjoying a cup of hot tea and small town life in a friendly little mountain town called Saluda. You can contact me at; or 828-749-1153, visit my website at for more writing and art, or find me on facebook.

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