Mountaintop Seduction

Mountaintop Seduction

Spring comes slowly to the mountains, and sometimes, seemingly, not at all.
all those many weeks with a stick-filled horizon against muted skies.
patches of snow holding claim to the ground.

But there is a gift in all this waiting–
the fine-tuning of attention
Where magic resides…

That first stencil of leaf
In golden hues
“Nature’s first green.”

And it is the poet,
inside each us, who is awakened
by these subtle shades of hope.

Little by little, and sometimes, seemingly,
“in great leaps,”
the land awakens in a chorus of color.

Which is almost true in the valley, with
its daffodils & dandelions, but not yet
on the mountaintop.

Here the seduction is slower,
sweeter…

Maple buds up the driveway
Spreads of greening across the lawn
The first violets
The return of the chives
and
The lady’s mantle whose leaves have opened
just enough
to hold
the morning dew.

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On Returning…

On Returning…


Though our dream to move to the mountains took shape 25 years ago this spring (after we lost the baby), we continue to return to the sea at least once a year, and back in those early years, we returned every season.

And although these Green Mountains are where we belong, the return is always a homecoming, not only to the place where our love took root more than 3 decades ago, but to his people, and especially my people, because there are so many of us, and because we go back so many generations, and to the sea and the sand and the land itself.

With so many touchstones, each visit is like a putting together a thousand-piece puzzle, and over time, I’ve begun to play with it ahead of the return so that I might be more present once there, particularly as our time there continues to shrink while our family there continues to expand.

And so it is that this week brings the maddening/thrilling algebraic acrobatics of making connections and plans with 6 different siblings & their kids (some grown and on their own) and with what remains of 3 sets of parents, and also a stepgrandmother & her fiance, a great aunt & her son, dozens of cousins, aunts & uncles, a friend or two, and once in blue moon if we’re especially lucky–a beloved colleague.

Sometimes I forget an entire branch of our lives.

Sometimes I get so aborbed by balancing the equation that I miss the sweetness of the faces and the sea and the memory space of home.

Increasingly so, I take time apart from it all, simply to steep in place, alone, and instead of telling myself that I am not enough, that the time we spend is not enough, that the visit is too cumbersome, too far, too much, I let another voice in… the one that says that the Return is sacred, and as such things will fall into place (like running into a cousin’s family at the ice cream parlor, or old friends at a distant relative’s funeral), while simultaneously letting so. much. go. like we once did, 25 years ago, heartbroken, leaving the sea to make a new home of our own.

a mid-spring evening for women

a mid-spring evening for women

with the Pink Full Moon

In Southern, Vermont

Monday, April 30th
6:00 to 8:00 pm
Marlboro, Vermont
(in between Brattleboro & Bennington)

Join a mid-spring evening with women to…

Elevate the human condition.
Retrieve lost aspects of self.
Steep in the poetry of your life.

Experience the chakras with music, movement & meditation.
Enjoy a stunningly disguised workout.
Rest, stretch & dance in a safe & welcoming circle of women.
Participate in simple, co-created ritual.
Discover the elegance of spontaneity & surrender.

Be yourself.
HAVE FUN!

Sink into 111 minutes of gently-guided flow from the earth to sky led by lifelong educator, yoga & yogadance instructor Kelly Salasin. Experience & skill irrelevant. If you can take a brisk walk and get up from and down to the floor, you’ve got this. Women of all ages welcome. (Youth of a certain age with advance permission.)

Experience the body’s energy centers—from grounding to flowing—from boundaries to open-heartedness—from playful expression and voiced truth to clear seeing—to silent knowing—shaped by an intuitively-crafted soundtrack, certain to move you–inside & out.

Come as you are. Tired. Weary. Anxious. Energized. Grieving. Inspired. Ready. Reluctant. Fit. Out of shape. Introverted. Extroverted. Hesistant.

Allow the energy of the gathering to rise up inside you as we organically weave an evening of re-lease, reintegration, and regeneration with music, movement & meditation.

Bring a small journal or notebook, a water bottle, and some kind of mat (or blanket), dress comfortably to move (layers work great), move barefoot (or with clean non-marking soles.) Optional: bring a something to symbolize new growth for the altar.

HOLD YOUR SPACE with the link below. (Add your name & email address to the payment along with one word or a short phrase about what brings you to the dance.)

Let Your Yoga Dance (LYYD) Instructor KELLY SALASIN has been leading dancing journeys (classes & retreats) through the chakras with women in Southern Vermont for over a decade. She is a yoga teacher, a regular assistant to leading presenters at Kripalu Yoga & Health Center, and the creator of Writing through the Chakras, an online journey for women around the world. She is also someone who still has trouble touching her toes and has spent most of the winter holed up in her home in the woods of Marlboro and so really welcomes this opportunity to gather and move among women.

The Outback at Marlboro Elementary (aka. the school gym) on Route 9 lends itself to the kind of playful expansion that is welcome in the 5th chakra, while the intimacy of the women’s candlelit circle creates a powerful container for warming, connecting & integrating. We benefit from the energetic imprint of children in the space and we leave the energy of women dancing behind to bless their space, particularly at May Day.

(Update: 3 spaces remain~ https://www.paypal.me/KellySalasin/33.33

 

Aging in place

Aging in place

In the middle of winter & now into spring–on snow-covered roads and icy ones and mud-ridden too–I find myself traveling to the bedsides of those who are aging in place in my part of the state; and I am astounded by their spirits and by the devotion of their caregivers, and also by the plight of adult children caring for parents, or one spouse caring for another or siblings doing the same.

I am struck when I hear that opting for Nursing Home care comes with fewer strings, financially & practically; and this reminds me of my early years at home with my babies, if only I’d chosen a daycare to raise my little ones, it could have been subsidized, but if I gave up my career to be with my children so that they too could “age in place,” I would lose my foothold in the work world and exponentially lag behind in my capacity to earn and thus become increasingly disheartened in that regard, not to mention less and less represented in the wider world.

(Think Congress.)

Unlike some of our counterparts in the developed world, we do not prioritize those who need care and those who give care–to the sick, the disabled, the elderly, the refugee, the lonely, the downtrodden, the minority, the mother, the child–namely–women–who as a result of unpaid/underpaid caregiving are among the most impoverished around the world no matter their race, educational background and marital status; and increasingly so as they age, with a wider income gap between women and men in the United States than anywhere in the Western world.

~

When my children were young, I tended to them in much the same way as I would have wanted to be tended, and I imagine the same is true for adult children caring for parents.

“We’re next, Kelly,” said one such caregiver, as she looked me in the eyes, and this is quite a sobering thought, particularly as I see parents become children, and then infants, in their offspring’s hearts.

Dear Bernie,

Dear Bernie,

I moved to Vermont in 1993, the year before I turned thirty, two years before my husband & I became parents.
 
It was in Vermont that something else was conceived inside–a growing awareness & engagement in politics; Because it was in Vermont that I first discovered politics beyond the pocketbook.
 
Bernie, it was in our early years in Vermont that my young family sat beside you at the Chicken Supper when you were our Congressman, and where we later watched with pride as our son joined you in the Strolling of the Heifers parade down Main Street during your campaign for Senate; and when time sped forward and that same son went off to school at the University of Vermont, my youngest son and I were with you on the waterfront as you announced your campaign for President; which is to say that Bernie Sanders & Vermont are inextricably linked in my understanding of both the rights & responsibilities of citizenship.
 
But it’s not that for which I’d like to thank you now, Bernie. It’s something larger than one family. It’s the way your presidential campaign gave young people, not just in Vermont, but around this nation, hope. It’s the way you tethered their hearts and minds to a purpose larger than themselves, and to the possibility of something more than the cultural shadow assigned them–ignorance, irrelevance, consumerism & self-absorption.
 
Bernie, your campaign, your voice, your tenacious heart woke the heart of a nation and seeded a sense of possibility that is taking root in the consciousness & action of our youngest citizens in this most troubling time for our democracy.
 
Bernie, you have shown them how to fight the good fight.
 
You have proven to them that they are not alone.
 
This has inspired them to lead with love.
 
This has inspired them to vote with passion & purpose.
 
This has made the privilege of citizenship–whole.
 
~Kelly Salasin, age 54

Mother of Lloyd, 22, and Aidan, 17, ready to vote in the next election.
 
 
heat wave

heat wave

Bird Egg Feather Nest, Maryjo Koch

Tiny chirps let us know that the eggs in the nest above our light fixture have hatched,
and so this year, having failed yet again to prevent her nesting there,
we re-arrange our tiny porch to better accommodate feeding & flight,
which is to say: poop;
while eagerly awaiting the sight of little heads popping up from her moss wrapped nest.

She comes every year.
Last June Casey saw each one of her chicks take flight.
She’s been my steady companion this cold spring–flying out each time I arrive home or depart,
and then as the weather warmed, flying back and forth to the nest as I watched from the kitchen, fixing meals for my family, while she fed hers.

Last week I introduced her to a friend.
We’re all Mamas after all.

But then a day went by, and I realized I hadn’t seen her, and then another, and I was almost certain I hadn’t, so this morning, I asked Casey to check.

And all the little chicks are dead.

There won’t be poop all over our porch after all.

june 2017, marlboro, vt

Resenting Summer

Resenting Summer


This year I decided or defaulted into resenting summer’s approach, which has long been my favorite time of year (ever since marriage & motherhood confined me to a state where the season of life is so absurdly short.)

So that even as I returned to my summer pleasure palace–South Pond–I resented it:

“Oh, this again…”

Which was a terrifying or at least a largely alarming state of mind, particularly after such a protracted winter.

“Had South Pond changed?
Had I?
Was this what it was to age?”

But even in my sourness, there was suspicion.

Was I simply protecting my heart?
Had I lost the capacity to love in the face of inevitable loss?

YES! That was it!

I couldn’t bear another summer ending.
And so I wouldn’t love it.
But then May came, and even with all its cold rain, it wooed me.
And then June, not even through, was sweeping me off my feet.

So that I’m pretty sure that I’m falling in love again, in spite of myself, because this morning when I woke, in yet another dour middle-aged mood, I looked across the room and thought:

“Wow!
Look how beautiful my blow dryer.
I’m gonna take a photo of it in this morning light
and share it on Instagram”

Crap.