Putting things into perspective during troubling times

Published 10:38 pm Thursday, January 29, 2015


“…Inside the meadow is the grass,

 rich with darkness. Inside the grass is the wish to be rooted, inside the rain

 the wish to dissolve. What you think you live for you may not live for.

 One star goes out. One breath lifts inside a crow inside a field.”

~ Joanna Klink, “3 Bewildered Landscapes”

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On a windy morning that promised snow, I found myself stranded (again) in my infamous rattletrap car pulled over into a deserted parking lot along the back road to Saluda, waiting for the AAA tow truck to arrive. With a red light squawking ‘overheating!’ and coolant running like a stream under the car, it was not a good day.

“Well, it could be worse” I said to the AAA representative when calling for help. “It really could!” she said as we laughed together.

In the scheme of things, what’s a two-hour wait, a broken-down car, another repair bill? In the scheme of things, that’s really nothing. I think of a friend dealing with brain surgery and stage-four lung cancer, and another who recently lost her husband of 40 years.

Somehow, my troubles seem to pale in comparison. So, I sat there in the quiet car, watching dry leaves scamper over winter grass, racing like children on a playground, while handsome iridescent crows ruling an open sky fly over stark branches of sycamore.

Short stems of emerging daffodils peeked out through earth, only wishing to bloom into light. Those are promises, I think—that it will be OK, that things will go on. How good it is to pay attention, to watch clouds roll overhead, crows swooping, occasional cars whisk by, the low spread of grass over rocks.

Wind and silver gray skies push over mountain ridges as I sit scribbling thoughts onto a wrinkled car wash receipt. Twiddling thumbs, I keep waiting past the two-hour mark.

Finally, the tow truck guy arrives. Over the past few years, we’ve become old friends. He’s glad to see me and we catch up on old cars, trucks, life, how fast his kids are growing (and how much they eat), and the new beads he’s sporting in his beard. He’s a good soul, and he picks me up a drink along our way to the car repair shop in Landrum.

I’m touched by his kindness. I so needed a dose of that very thing, and kindness comes home with me, where River dog paces out on the back deck, barking at the rumbling tow truck and anxious to be walked down the street to water shrubs and delight in winter crows. That’s what matters.

Saluda Welcome Table is every Tuesday, with dinner served from 5:30-7 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Saluda United Methodist Church. All are welcome; donations are accepted.

The Saluda branch of Tree City USA meets at 5:30 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month at Saluda Library.


Save your box tops for Saluda School. Collection containers are located in Saluda Library, Saluda Post Office and Saluda Elementary School.


Got your seed catalogs out? The Robinson Community Garden’s first sign-up meeting will be Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. at Dave and Marilyn Prudhomme’s home. For more information, contact Dave or Marilyn at 749-9172 or e-mail dlpwoodturner@gmail.com.

Don’t forget Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) can benefit from your donations or your time as a volunteer for their many community projects. For information, contact SCLT at 828-749-1560 or visit www.saludasclt.org.

Happy January birthday to ‘Sparkles’ Anderson, Brandy Bradley, Alex Bardos, Carolyn Ashburn, Scott Kinard, Donna Bond, Greer Eargle, Wyatt Alan Pace, Irma Anderson, Paul Aaybe, Rich Rauschenbach, Phyllis Arrington, Kenneth Justus, Cheryl Harbin, and Avery Lena Mintz. Please add your birthday to the list!

Thank you for reading this column, dear reader. As ever, the goal is to make you feel like you’re enjoying small town life and a cup of hot tea with me in a friendly little mountain town called Saluda. You can contact me at bbardos@gmail.com, call 749-1153, visit my website at bonniebardos.com for more writing and art, or find me on Facebook.