The light of a small town, of spirit, of soul

Published 9:26 pm Thursday, December 10, 2015

By Bonnie J. Bardos 

I heard a bird sing

In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.

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‘We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.
~ Oliver Herford, “I Heard a Bird Sing”


One thing most tender and warm held close to spirit and soul is the light in a small town, whether it’s the glowing lights of hearth, home and shops along Main Street, or the glow of faces on a clear, cold star-kissed December night as long-time friends gather to celebrate a birthday at the Purple Onion.


Or a welcome-to-Saluda-get-together at the Christmas-bedecked Oaks Bed & Breakfast for a young bright-faced couple moving in up the street, gifted with stories from all who come, given as markers that line the path to what all is life in a town.


I’m just an observer, an oracle, a sometimes quiet note-taker on the periphery, of all that is good and most remarkable in this place I call home. Of holding these moments in my heart, my hand, and letting them fall into words so that we’re reminded of what truly matters in this life. People hug each other, their eyes full of smiles, their heart is what’s glowing most. And there it is, the light in a small town, held close to spirit and soul.


Saluda Historic Depot will have a Holiday Gallery through Dec. 31, Thursday – Sunday, 12 – 4 p.m.


Saluda Hometown Christmas is Dec. 11, 6 – 8 p.m. Come enjoy holiday refreshments offered by Saluda businesses and live music. An Ecumenical service will be at Saluda Presbyterian Church at 8:15 p.m.
The annual Saluda Children’s Christmas Workshop will be held at Saluda Fire Department on Dec. 12 from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. and is free for kids five and up.
Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) would love to have you volunteer or be a member. Learn more by visiting or calling 828-749-1560. On Dec. 14, join in on SCLT’s litter pick-up day. Meet at Saluda Library at 10 a.m. to get supplies. Call Susie Welsh at 828-749-3900 for details. Rain date is Dec. 21.

All veterans are welcome to a free breakfast at Ward’s Grill on Dec. 17 from 8 – 10 a.m.


Save your box tops for Saluda School. Collection boxes are at the library, post office and at the school office. The holiday break will be from Dec. 19 – Jan. 3.


Need a special gift that helps Saluda and lasts 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 beside M.A. Pace Store. For information, contact Catherine Ross at 828-749-3534 or


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.


Congratulations to Margaret Miller! Just take a peek at her sparkling finger and happy glow, and you will know why.


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, Mary O. Ratcliffe, Milton Thompson, Laura Fields, Lord Blanton, Beth Brand, Jim Carson and Tom DeKay.


Thank you, dear readers for reading this column. As ever, the goal is to make you feel like you’re enjoying a cup of hot tea in a friendly little mountain town. Feel free to contact me at or call 749-1153. I always love hearing from you. Or stop by for holiday open studio at my Art House, 285 Greenville Street, Saturdays from 1-3 p.m. this month. Call ahead to be sure. You may also visit for more writing and art, or find me on Facebook.