It was a warm December 3rd like today, only it was a Friday, instead of a Monday, and the weather was a delightful surprise instead of a wildly fluctuating (and disturbing) norm.  She remembers large swaths of grass in the backyard, and the color green beneath the melting snow.

She had already tried to reach her husband, and two of her sisters, but no one was there. Texting and Facebook didn’t exist yet; and email wouldn’t lend the immediacy that this long-awaited news deserved.

She resigned herself to her aloneness and opened the birthday gift sent by a childhood friend. They had been together that August when an old favorite came on the radio and they swooned in appreciation.  She rushed the cd to the stereo and forwarded it to Landslide.

I took my love and I took it down…

After the first delicious play, she wanted more.  She hit the repeat button and flung open the French doors and stepped outside…

Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?

The test sat on the counter beside the bathroom sink where her husband would find it, but for now she danced. She opened her arms and twirled like a girl…

So, take my love, take it down
Oh climb a mountain and turn around

She hadn’t known then how much more this song could mean; that her birthday would usher in one of the most challenging years of her life…

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you

That following August she would give birth to a healthy boy, but that blessing would be eclipsed by her mother’s diagnosis…

Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

She would travel three-hundred miles to sit beside her as she took her last breaths and the new baby cried…

And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
‘Till the landslide brought me down

This song would be sung at the funeral, a capella, and would forever span birth and death in her heart and mind…

But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I’m getting older too

The new baby, 12 years later.
The new baby, 12 years later.

(Kelly Salasin, December 3, 2012)

5 thoughts on “Landslide

  1. Kelly, Landslide is my ANTHEM. I have listened to it a hundred times over the last year, as I wrote my book about growing older and letting go and losing and ground and gaining some. It makes me cry every time. I sing it when I run, and when I’m in the car, and whenever my heart needs to soften. I’ve thought often about trying to write about what this song expresses for me — and I love reading about your own journey with these lyrics. Sending affection and birthday wishes and gratitude for kindred souls and fellow travelers.


  2. I remember it was hard to sing that day. I also remember receiving a note, handed to me on a scrap of paper at church, from your brother-in-law, that said “Never forget how music soothes the soul. Thank you for soothing my soul today”. I still have it. Nice piece, Kel. And the photo is priceless. Love that blue-eyed angel and his bright spirit. 😉


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