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the Circle of Life

“We were engaged in a parallel dance–one spinning toward death, the other toward life–both facing an ending and a beginning–coming to a threshold of no return.”

Kelly Salasin

Aidan & Mom Photo: Robin Salasin Aidan & Mom
Photo: Robin Salasin, 2000

One of our family traditions is displaying the cards we receive for special occasions. My husband’s birthday was our most recent so the window sill in our kitchen holds the few that arrived in the mail. (When he complains about this dwindling enthusiasm, I remind him that we’re the grownups now.)

This year, however, the window is crowded. Greeting cards fill the sill, while others hang from the wooden mullions that lend our Vermont farmhouse that window-paned look.

The fullness is a result of a case of synchronicity: the birth of our son–just a month before his father’s birthday.

Cards for the baby continue to trickle in–with moons and lambs and jumping cows–seeming out of place with the cards poking fun of Casey’s age. But, they’re kept together for tradition’s sake.

It’s the ones added most recently that make me question the whole…

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Self-Portrait

Like a fingerprint, each snow leaves behind its own impression.

This one seems poured from the sky like a heavenly cream
filling the bowl of our land to the brim of the stone wall.

But it arrived, not like milk at all.

It was fine and soft and swift and swirly.

The air made the difference.

Bitter. Cruel.

Just like life
shapes
us.

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she comes to me…

Though she left us fourteen years ago today,
she comes to me still.

She comes to me in the morning, with the rising sun, as it warms the stones beneath me.

She comes to me at twilight, beside the stove, as I stir the broth and break the noddles.

She comes to me in my desperation, quieting me with her presence.

She comes to me, in her failures, soothing my own.

She comes to me when I work too hard. When I push too much. When I need to pause.
She silently reminds me.

Bonnie Kelly Salasin Bradley
Bonnie Kelly Salasin Bradley 12/25/42–9/8/00

She’s got a way about her.
I don’t know what it is.
But I know that I don’t live without her.

She’s got a light around her, and everywhere she goes a million dreams of love surround her.