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December 10, 2021: Heart of Darkness

I suppose that, ideally, winter should be a contemplative time. The days’ activities, then, should follow suit. For instance, one might get up right before sunrise, sit and watch the sunrise, eat a lengthy breakfast by the kitchen window, watch the birds at the feeder, then go for a brisk walk. This, the walk, cross country ski, or bicycle ride, might be followed by lunch, and after that, a cup of hot chocolate. There is then a choice. One might take a nap. Come evening, and darkness, the reading chair beckons.

Okay. So at our place, winter is not as contemplative a time as it should be, perhaps because the lifestyle dictates otherwise. Today is a good example. We got up after sunrise. I put on my winter gear (as always struggled with boots that are too tight) and


tended to the immediate concerns of five chickens, four horses, and three goats. Pete, who got up right after me, fed the dogs, got the woodstove fire going, and made pancake batter. He then loaded up the heated water, poured it into plastic buckets, and doled out the hot water to all the animals.

He returned to the upper cabin, and I soon followed. He finished making the pancakes, and we quickly wolfed them down because we had things to do. Today we went to town. We first met with friends at the Meeting House, then loaded books into the Tundra. Pete dropped me off a few blocks down the street, and I stocked the bookcases. He went to the college and took care of things there.

He met me at the Meeting House when he was done. I’d just started in on putting the hardback fiction books in order. We went to the local thrift store; we were in search of bookcases. We didn’t find what we were looking for.

We left town; it was dusk. When we got home, it was nearly dark. I put on my barn clothes, grabbed a headlight, then went and put the halter on Tinni. I first took him, then Raudi, then Tyra, for a walk around the loop. I sometimes had my headlight on, and sometimes did not. The horses didn’t seem to care one way or the other.

Our neighbor Idiot Boy had just arrived home when I was walking Raudi. His dog was loose. Raudi skittered a bit, but not enough for me to be overly concerned. It began to snow, fast, heavy, thick flakes that when my light was on, came at me. It felt like I was travelling at warp speed through the galaxy.

So these winter walks are a time in which I just let my mind wander. Summer, with its abundance of daylight, does not allow for this. I sometimes wish that what I first described was more apt, but it is not. I think that since our lives here only allow for a set amount of time for mental meandering, that I’m more appreciative of the time allotted than I would be otherwise.

Next: 342. 12/11/21: An Up and Down Day

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