Sunday, February 26, 2012

rabbit for lunch

I know I said I was planning on staying inside and relaxing after the workshop, but a surge of chorenergy shot through me and in the oddly quiet moment of the weekend I was all workboots, axes, pitchforks and wheel barrows. To hell with rest while your body sings. I'll sleep when I'm dead.

I was outside feeling the sun on my back and watching Jasper watching me from his stall. "Do you want some sweat on your shoulder?!" I yelled out, and his ears perked up at my call. I headed down to the barn and grabbed his halter and lead line. I struggled to control him, frantic with the pent-up anxiety of a stalled, barely trained pony. He shot out into the field and lifted his head and tail in a triumphant kind of trot you usually see those high-headed standard bred Amish horses doing as they rocket down the roads. I like seeing that kind of relief, in any animal. The joy of no confinement. He ran around in the melting snow and kicked and farted and had a fine time. I turned around and set to stacking wood into the empty spaces under the side porch.

I stacked and split wood until the side porch looked respectable enough, a pile of dry wood and locust rounds, and space on the far end for a couple or three bales of hay to save me the trip to the barn for the sheep. I hate to sound proud, but that work looked right pretty. All that warmth for cold nights, all that green hay waiting for the rumen, a summer stored up in a couple pieces of twine. I love baling twine, I really do. People look at it wrapped around fence posts and scattered around the beds of pickup trucks and forget that it is a time machine's containment unit. You release the last summer when you set it free.

I set to mucking his stall, hauling him fresh water and loading up his hay bag. I checked his electric fence (sound) and made sure his salt lick was holding up. I did right by the beast. As I moved out barrows of slop and set down some clean bedding I thought about how much I have been writing about Merlin, the magic of him. The excitement of a horse I can finally ride, drive, and learn from. Merlin will be an amazing animal and a sign of growth for me in this life, but as much as I look forward to owning that horse someday, Jasper is my horse right now. He doesn't care about romance or possible roommates, he cares about running up a sweat in the pasture, clean water, good hay and little trouble if he can find a way to cause it.

Rabbits got fed, bottles hauled inside to defrost. The barn got tidied up and the sheep fed. I walked Jasper back to his stall, removed his halter, and hung the black halter and orange lead rope on his pegs inside the barn. I smile and think of the work to get ready for him, the help of Brett and others. I watch him settle in and feel full of good things. His current comfort was a direct result of my previous discomfort. So goes the whole damn world. I smile even wider.

I was about to turn in when I saw my recent hay delivery coming up from Karen Whitman. I forgot she was coming! She drove her blue GMC and helped me unload 20 new green bales. It took a while to haul them all off the truck and then into the barn, but by this time I was beat. I was ready to come inside to a glass of hard cider and a documentary on the iMac and let the days work set in.

So I am inside now. The cider is poured and the stoves are lit and I have a pot of soup or chili waiting for me for dinner. I spent this day sharing coffee with a great new friend. I spent my morning harnessing a draft horse, spending some times on a country road with the lines in my hands as cars passed us and I felt like they were on mopeds and I was in a Rolls Royce. How rich I felt! I ate rabbit for lunch. Every home I went into was heated by wood stoves and surrounded my land and animals. My body aches a little from the work, and my mind is still thumping with ideas for stories and writing and tonight I am just so damn happy I turned around the corners and switchbacks that lead me here. Lead me to this farm on a mountainside with a naughty pony, friends who know what hames and eveners are, and cold cider in a glass pressed with friends a few months prior during that Holy time all the regular people call October and I call Everything.

I'm not sharing this to boast, but to remain a little incredulous that the gal writing you this used to sit in a city apartment a few years ago fresh out of a state college without a single idea what was ahead. I got a bad case of Barnheart (chronic) and now rabbit for lunch is as normal as soup in a can is for other folks. A few random choices like a move to Idaho, a chance meeting with a farming coworker, a book, a blog, and now I am so excited about next weekend I feel like a child before her birthday. I am going to pick up that amazing horse and come hell or high water find a way to make him mine, find a way to house him, find a way to make him work. A blog reader and fellow horse girl emailed me to say horses were all about passion, not logic. I loved her for it. I got passion out the yinyang. I can turn it into a horse because I am too damn stubborn not too.

Crows are flying today. I'm a happy woman.


Blogger Moose Hollow Farm said...

You sound like you are full of happiness & satisfaction. It makes me so happy to read your blog and share your farm life. Keep up the good work and know that your readers are friends who wish you the best and pray for your continued happiness. Can't wait for next weekend!!

February 26, 2012 at 7:06 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

Love the picture!

February 26, 2012 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger darius said...

What a lovely post! Your happiness actually radiated off the screen, and made my heart happy too.

February 26, 2012 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger Glyndalyn said...

Great, Jenna. Sounds like things are working out. What an exciting time for you. Like the pictures.

We are planning the Phony Farm garden. Heirloom squash seeds from Annie's Heirloom Seeds are here. Also have Long Pie Pumpkin seeds at your suggestion from an earlier post. Hope the pumpkins will grow here in TN. I read they were popular in New England and arrived there about 1832.

Hope to do a lot of food preservation this year, as usual.

February 26, 2012 at 9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to read that you're enjoying the life you've built for yourself!

One of the things I enjoy the most about your blog is the brutal honesty with which you write.... the good, the bad, the ugly...... I'm glad that you don't censor much of anything, even when some find the truth sometimes objectionable.

Oh, and enjoy the contentment, you've earned it!

February 26, 2012 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger PattyW said...

So happy for you and along with you and so glorious to share passions. You have such a gift to be able to convey your feelings and passions in a beautiful way.

February 26, 2012 at 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that sounds like a pretty perfect day. there should be more like that (and more people who recognize them when they see them).


February 27, 2012 at 8:04 AM  
Blogger SouthernHeart said...

Love the pic of you facing the camera!

February 27, 2012 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Matt_Middleton said...


February 27, 2012 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

This made me smile. I'm glad things are going well. :)

February 27, 2012 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Photo taken by 468photography

February 27, 2012 at 7:17 PM  

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