Sunday, October 14, 2018

Logging With Merlin

I came across a bit of good luck! My neighbor Jared, who lives a few miles away from Cold Antler Farm, said I was welcome to pull out some of the ash he cut this last February to use for firewood. Jared logs with horses and I had emailed him a few weeks ago to ask if he wanted to barter firewood for a logo for his horse-drawn business. (Turns out but he didn't have the time or size wood I needed.) But he did offer to let me take some of the downed, dry, logs! Jared's family used to own my farm and they still own the land around it. Some days he drives his gorgeous team of Percherons up the road past my house to train them, cut timber, and haul it out. So today I hitched up Merlin to his trusty leather harness and we made three trips into the woods next to my farm.

I was using the road he made with his team, happy at the thought of another modern working animal using the road. This was a wild road. A place for time travel. Me and my pony walked up it, his thick black tail swishing with our stride. It was a gorgeous fall day and I tried to do something I have been forgetting to do amidst all the stress of winter prep: stop and enjoy myself.

I took a moment on the trail to simply admire him. This pony, born across an ocean and here a few decades later helping his Hobbit move some logs. For a horse in his early twenties he was moving fast and even trotting along with the logs. He seemed to be enjoying the work of it. There was no bad flies, the weather brisk, the woods new and alive. I was reminded how good it felt to do this: to go from harnessing to commands in the forest. I let myself forget how much I adore driving this beast.

We started with a lighter load of small trees and then worked up to two hefty logs. All brought to the driveway where I'll get a friend with a chainsaw they can cut them into rounds for splitting. Or maybe I'll invest in a tough sawzall or electric chainsaw at some point? I think I can use my hand saw on the smaller ones myself. I'll figure it out, the promise was getting them here in the first place!

So on this fine Sunday I worked my pony and was reminded of the moments I'm trying to keep, but also trying not to get lost in all that when life throws these perfect little chances to be aware how lucky you are just to try. 

I didn't make my goal of making the last summer mortgage payment by the 15th. I don't have a cord and a half of wood stacked yet. But I am a little closer to both of those goals. I have a working wood stove and a cord stacked - that's not nothing. And I bet Merlin and I hauled enough wood for a few nights comfort.  I am waiting for some soap and art sales people said they would pay for to ping in via email. I am still grateful for this magical time I get to be a single woman hauling logs out of a forest path with a pony and getting paid with tech magical banking.

I won the dice roll on timing, for certain.