Thursday, November 30, 2023

November Hill farm journal, 198

 I was out yesterday afternoon giving hay and filling water troughs. We’re in a streak of cold right now and all the equine fur was puffed and they were happy to get the hay. Cody and Little Man have been in their single weight blankets each night. Cody’s single weight strap broke so he’s now wearing Keil Bay’s purple one, and it occurs to me he is filling Keil’s blanket, in the sense that someone might “fill someone’s shoes.” 

Of course no one expects Cody to fill Keil’s spot, but he seems to be contemplating the enormity of being the biggest horse in the herd, and still feeling the absence of his best friend. The expression on his face and in his eyes has changed. I keep waiting for it to go back, but so far it has remained serious and at times almost distant. I see he and Little Man playing tag over the paddock fence most mornings now, so I know he’s returned to at least that one habit and pleasure. 

The air yesterday afternoon was cold and still, and it was quiet. A prelude to real winter season, which usually does happen in NC but not always when expected. Before this cold streak we were having warm days with flies coming out. 

My focus lately has been on garden plantings, and I have plans for two new beds: one atop Salina and Keil’s gravesites, the other in the big barnyard. A helpful native plant person recommended, upon my request for something special and maybe rare for Keil’s grave, the Sweetleaf, aka Horse Sugar, Symplocos tinctoria, which is a host plant for the King Hairstreak butterfly, which is becoming rare these days and echoes my long-time nickname for Keil Bay - the King. I couldn’t find this plant locally and then a nursery about an hour away actually reached out to me to say they have it, and can bring it to me, and once again, Keil’s magic ripples out. 

There are a lot of things to do around here, but I am thus far sticking to my intention to move slowly into and through this winter season. I’m doing things but in a slower way, and often choosing not to do a thing because I know it will start the wheel turning for me toward a faster pace of life. 

Last week, before the cold and after the good rain we finally got, I mulched the leaves in the back pasture and seeded it, and overseeded the grass paddock and both barnyards. That was a joyful thing for me, as the repetition of patterns puts me into a sort of trance state which seems to reboot something for me. I was for awhile that day close to Salina and Keil Bay, and not long after I finished the task, I felt and saw Keil doing a fancy trot up the long stretch of front pasture, neck curved, head high, collected and powerful. He stays close when I need him, and he surprises me with gifts like this image, which is really his spirit moving around us. 

Today is writing day but I also broke my own rule and have one client scheduled, and then will head over to my mom’s - she was in the hospital for several days but home now and doing well. Over Thanksgiving a number of family members, including myself, had more minor illnesses, one Covid, one not Covid, another not Covid not strep, for me a mild UTI and possibly a kidney stone (!), so it’s good to be on the other side of that string of things. 

It’s almost December! Which feels impossible but also okay. 


Grey Horse Matters said...

That plant for the grave site sounds perfect! We're going between cold and warm up here. Today is was almost 50 but rainy. Yesterday it was cold enough to snow a bit, but it didn't stick.

Tuesday night they gave the special permit to the solar company. So we're bummed about that. But there's still some time to challenge the ruling. Which will be done. Can't believe it's almost Christmas and I haven't bought a thing or decorated either.

billie said...

A, I’m sorry about the solar permit. I hope you prevail in the challenge, as those big arrays do not belong where people live. There are places to put them where they can do their job without impacting people who have lived on and cared for land and property for many many years, as is true for you and your family.

Sending hopes for peaceful holiday time for you. Hugs to you and to J and good thoughts for your entire family!