Baba Yaga Love

Kelly Salasin

Yesterday, while my husband carved a pumpkin with the kids, I read the All Hallow’s Eve story of Baba Yaga. I’ve never understood the point of fairy tales–they’re so frightening– which is why I’ve avoided them up until now.  (My boys are old enough to appreciate the “edge” without the nightmare.)

Baba Yaga is a tale about a young girl who is forced to head into the dark woods to find her “fire“…during which she faces all manner of terror and threats of death.

While reading this tale aloud last night, I finally heard the archetypal language of the fairy tale. I could relate to the young girl’s quest and to her fear–because I was experiencing the same dynamic in my marriage.

Like me, this young girl was brave and resourceful,and wanted the change her fire would bring, but there were many times when her fear paralyzed her and she wanted to leave the woods and return to the familiar life she knew.

A doll in the young girl’s pocket helped guide her to fulfillment. Desire has been my guide, knowing that a fuller experience of love must be possible within a twenty-three year old relationship.

Desire has led me to explore the issue of intimacy with books by author’s David Deida and Margot Anand. Though I have loved and made love for almost thirty years, I am now painfully aware that I have never been fully intimate— at first because I was too young, and then because I was too afraid, and now because I am too protected.

There is much work to be done–and it is daunting.

Like the young girl, there are moments when I want to turn back and collapse into the familiar– but it has vanished.

I have no choice but to stumble forward, deep into the unknown holding onto the promise of a brighter love.


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