Saluda News & Notations: Walking each other home through life

Published 8:00 am Friday, August 3, 2018

“Home is not where you live, but where they understand you.”

~ Christian Morganstern

Over and over, there are reminders in so many ways — both simple and profound — of the interconnectedness and community we have in our little town with a big heart.

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Saluda has changed and grown over the 25 years I’ve been around these parts. One thing that remains constant as the North Star is how people here care deeply about one another: even more precious as years go by.

There was no greater example of this caring and absolute love than last Sunday, as the community gathered to celebrate Will Nelson’s life on a breezy summer afternoon at Judd’s Peak, mountains in the distance, a hawk circling up in a clear blue sky.

Friends and family came together under that sky and graceful hawk, remembrances and thoughts spoken, laughter and tears. Grass underfoot, butterflies dancing nearby.

Folks being “Saluda folks,” no matter whether native for generations, or new at the table, so to speak. It was family, home.

A dog peacefully strolled the crowd, coming up for an ear rub quietly beside me, then on making the rounds, his owner nearby. A baby awoke from a nap.

Old, young. Rich, poor. All good hearts, many familiar faces. Kindness.

Aaron Burdett, guitar in hand, poignant song lifting on the breeze — a gift to every heart, to Will, to the hawk: wrapping us all up in that blanket of love, tenderness and remembrance.

Ashes scattered, a holding of hands. We do, each and every day, walk each other home through life.

Amid the noise and haste of the outside world, a small community comes together in good and bad, in life and death, celebrating each other. What a way to celebrate a life: by being there — making room in our hearts for one another along this path.

• Saluda Tailgate Market is open on Fridays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the city parking lot off Main Street.

• Saluda Welcome Table is every Tuesday. Dinner is served from 5:30-6:45 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Saluda United Methodist Church.

• Saluda Community Land Trust’s “Walks in the Woods” are on the first and third Sundays each month; the next walk is Sunday to Saluda Mountain Passage of the Palmetto Trail. Meet at Saluda Library’s parking lot at 2 p.m. to carpool. You can reach SCLT at 828-749-1560 or at Contact Chuck Hearon for hike information at 828-817-0364 or

• Saluda Singles will have a potluck meal at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, at Saluda Center. All singles over 40 welcome; for information, contact Anita Moore at 828-749-3335.

• Mark your calendar in advance for the annual meeting of Saluda Downtown Foundation Inc., which takes place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, at Saluda Library.

• Saluda Get-Well goes Brad Tuttle, Patricia Case, Melia Bradley, Kevin Hyde and Bill Russell.

• Saluda Garden Notes: don’t forget to keep hummingbird feeders clean! The little fellows will remind you pointedly if the sugar water runs out. (I use a mix of one part sugar to four parts water, and boil to make nectar) It’s time to deadhead perennials, and pull vines — it’s a jungle out there!

• Happy August Birthday to B.J. Kent, Linda Kaye Haynes, Paul Stoney, Jen Pace, Zack Pace, Don Mintz, Caroline Tindal, Nora Ward, Samantha Ward, Reeda Ward, Natalie  Aabye, Verlie Murphy, Peter Eisenbrown, Coleman Bradley, Ryan Bradley, Libby Archer, Rodney Thompson, Cathy Jackson, Bill Jameson and Danny Beck. Add your birthday to the list; no ages need be mentioned, unless you’re under 2 or over 100!

Thank you for reading this column; as ever, the goal is to make you feel like you’re enjoying small town life in a friendly mountain town called Saluda. Feel free to contact me at, 828-749-1153 or visit