after the moon.  Two weeks ago when the moon was full, I happened to be on the tractor right after sunset taking a load of ashes from Mum and Dad’s monstrous outdoor wood furnace to the compost heap.  It’s located up near the the market garden at the top of a small hill about a quarter mile from their house.  It was about 18 degrees out, (that seems to be a temperature that initiates introspection in me for some reason,) and the sky was crystal clear and deep, dark blue, the color of the Atlantic near the shore.  The moon was hanging in the sky with a halo around it, lighting up the snow below.  It was so beautiful and still even with the thrum of the diesel engine chugging up the hill.  For some reason, I didn’t feel like the tractor was a disturbance, but just a part of the larger landscape.  There was a big feeling to it that reached into my chest, and I could picture the three generations of farmers in my family going up this hill on a tractor for the same reason of an evening, and who knows how many countless generations on horses before that, on this same piece of land.  That feeling of peace and connection is part of why I’m back here on my parents’ land canoodling around in the dirt and feeding hay to fat sheep and beef cows.

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