October 31, 2009

All Soul's Night

Hallowe'e'n day was busy, preparing as our agricultural ancestors did for the late fall and winter months. We put up some hay and cleaned the barn. Wagons and plows were moved to out-of-the way locations in the barnyard. We managed to rake out the upper paddock, and extended it out to make it half again as large as it was, giving the horses more room. Duke & Diesel were brought up from the back pasture to co-mingle with Lincoln & Gillette for the winter. As predicted, the re-introduction after months of being away from each other caused chaos - Diesel chased Lincoln relentlessly, all horses galloping full speed through the large paddock, creating fire as their steel shoes skid on newly upturned rocks. Terry and I just stood there in the dark, watching their great white bodies passing by us like aggravated spirits in the night — ears flat against their skulls, manes and tails tangled in the autumn wind, nostrils flaring against the effort of accelerating over the ground and turning at the edge of the fence-line. The smell of damp soil, the musky woodland scent in Diesel's mane as I stood near him, trying unsuccessfully to draw his attention away from Lincoln, brought a brief, heady flicker of wonder for the pagan roots of this, All Soul's Night.

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