An Essay by Stacy Dianne Salmon

“There are places in this world that aren’t made out of stone.”
-Shawshank Redemption

My eyes flew open. I felt the overwhelming desire to look out my window and see ten inches of snow. Which is weird because it’s summer. When I say it was overwhelming, I mean it. The desire was so strong I was almost disoriented and couldn’t remember what day it was. There is nothing like a snow day. For me, it means staying home warm, cozy, counting snow flakes falling from the sky, worrying that the sun is shining too brightly and the snow may melt. Melting snow is the sad realization that the real world now has a clear, safe path back to it. And I just didn’t want to face the real world that day.

It took me few seconds to convince myself that I wouldn’t see any snow, find the snooze on my alarm, and talk myself out of the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. letting something go isn’t easy… especially for me because don’t let much of anything go.

There is a problem with me. I’m a Dave Matthews’ song sometimes… most of the time… I do everything just a little too much. the main thing being think. oh. and ruin things. I do that a lot, too.

I guess that’s being human. We always want something that we can’t have… want mountains to move just because we don’t want to climb them…. want snow in the middle of summer.

I went to visit a friend the other day. I walked into her beautiful house and sat down in the midst of the American Dream with 2.5 kids. .5 kept running up and down the stairs. We talked, I left, and I was sad. She has a house full of memories and stuff and love and dreams and kids and hope… and now a body full of cancer. And I really just think that sucks.

I guess that’s life. Always handing out little surprises that turn out to be exactly the opposite of what we want… taking away the things that we desire… or never letting us have them in the first place. Ruining everyone’s lives and eating all of our steak.

I think I am growing more cynical as each day passes. The disgust clouds my thoughts sometimes and I forget to do things like… well, look at the clouds. Instead I look at friends behind bars, people hurting, and that damn animal shelter commercial.

Do we never get what we want? Don’t the good guys win? Won’t anyone adopt that poor kitten?

I don’t know. I just know that think I am losing faith and hope has gone looking for it. I just know that I want winter here to cover me with it’s blanket and wrap me up tight in my safe place. I want to stomp my feet and cry and demand that it come. Until it does, I will go on.

Poetry by Jennie Maynard Tilton

A Winter of Grief

Grief happens in a myriad of different ways.
Some days it comes like falling winter’s snow,
Going on and on, it seems that
Tears are all you will ever know.

And then, it comes like a blizzard,
With its harshness, burying you;
Leaving you trying to make sense
of everything you thought you knew.

There are days it is a quiet sadness,
Much like a numbing cold,
It can be so disorienting
As new emotions continue to unfold.

Grieving can be very lonely
Like a cold, dark winter’s night.
But many insights can be gained
As you wait for morning’s light.

Eventually, sadness does subside,
You find your joy has returned
With the beautiful snowflakes of happy memories,
As the lessons of grief have been learned.