the full moon night

After the dinner is done and the dishes  are done and the writing is done. I  stand in front of the fire and put all my cold weather gear back on, my clown suit, the jacket, the hats, the scarf, the gloves, pick up the long torch and walk out with the dogs into the night to see how that animals are faring.

I could see far last night – the night was dark but the moon was bright – was it full?- and the wind blew hard slicing up the air as it knifed past. The dogs and I walked on ghost feet from ward to ward checking the animals.

The piglets were up rooting around in their bowls so I gave them extra food, the sound of which woke the bigger pigs up so I gave them some as well.

They ate quickly then scurried back into their beds. The last piglets to enter their blue igloo must have been told to shut the door because standing with his back to the door way he began to scrape at the loose straw with his front feet, moving backwards as he scooped the straw beneath him, then disappeared behind the little hill he had formed in the doorway.

On top of their blue igloo house is straw with chimney holes to keep the air clean and the day before yesterday I placed that black plastic water tank with the door way cut out of it on top of one half of the igloo. Like a second story or an attic. Do you remember it – the black one, the intermediate piglet house. Well I had nowhere to put it so I just popped it on top of the igloo roof as an attic. As I moved away from the piglets burrowing into their straw I caught  a glimpse of a couple of roosters IN the attic, they peered sleepily out their second story window at me, adding their own heat to the mix. I smiled as they resettled their feathers.

The kunekunes argued a little into the night, sharing their hot water bottle cat then settled back to sleep.

As my flashlight  pulled us out into the night again, the rustly silence settled behind us and I forced the last of the big barn doors closed against the bitter wind. My body was warm with all my clothes but I kept my head ducked away from the wind, it made my head ache that wind. To be in that wind last night – hurt.

Across the drive we put our heads around the turkey house door to watch the little chicks and their mother sit warm and fluffy on their broken wheelbarrow perch under the heat lamp.  I am leaving them there for the meantime. They are doing ok.

I turn through the small garden gate into the corridor field and the dogs and I crunch across the frozen field and through the green gate that slides open in its icy groove and approach the rat house to have a peek at Sheila. She is fast asleep deep in her magnificent straw bed, only a sliver of her back showing. The pigs always push their heads right into the straw, so they do not breath cold air I suppose. She snores gently from under her pillow, oblivious to us, her calves ranged about her like attendants, dark pools in the straw, their legs folded under them, their bodies resting, their breath clouds, sleepy but eyes open, watchful, though their Queen .does not stir from her deep fairy tale slumber.  I cover the exposed sliver of her back very, very quietly and we back out the door.  It is always warmer in the Rat House shed, I don’t know why.

I can hear the chickens in the chook house shuffle and peep. So many of them lined up wing to wing on their perches.

If it was not for the ice-covered snow crunching under my feet, and the wind whipping up a head ache, I would feel wraith-like, un-moored as though I have drifted between the worlds, fallen out of time..

Do you ever feel the presence of other souls?  I don’t mean ghosts of the long dead who come out at night when the world is a quieter place. I mean another world that runs adjoining ours, another woman walking her fields and checking her animals in the night, she is from this land but another world, maybe they never discovered electricity, or they never found oil under the ground, maybe they have created incredibly clever machines that run using this icy wind or maybe that world streaming beside ours is impoverished and desperate, enslaved.  Just one missed or different step and things could have been completely different for us all. But have you ever thought that maybe that sideways step was taken in another dimension. There is an intersection on the roads out here where I am often hit with the knowledge of a wagon going through as the same time as I do. I don’t exactly see it, just know of it. The horses sturdy yet tired heading for home,  the young driver almost asleep, his head nodding, thinking of his mum’s dinner maybe, he does not see me as my truck and his wagon collide and shoot right through each other.  We do this again and again, though only in the summer, but he never looks sideways. Maybe because I am in the future and he is in this lands past and my imagination. Or maybe he is in my future. Or maybe his world is running across the same lands, parallel to this world but not of it. Another dimension. There is no way of knowing.

Sometimes I get this feeling when I am out in the night, of another milk cow and the horses just out of earshot. Of that other woman, or girl sent out to check that all the barn doors are shut – the animals bedded down safe and dry – the tack from the horses hung properly, the grain bins closed.

I never feel alone or afraid as I walk the night. I have plenty of company.

On another subject Jake said he saw a pack of coyotes in his yard the night before last. He was pleased he had closed the door to his chicken shed.  The moon was so bright, reflecting off the snow and he saw them clearly – four of them – as they slid around his buildings. Coyotes are relatively new to this area (they came with the deer who followed the corn the old timers tell me) and there seem to be more of them this winter.

Out here I have not heard from my pack for a while – maybe they are on the other side of their territory.  Keeping us safe from the bad packs I hope.

And I hope you have a lovely day.

Love celi



76 Comments on “the full moon night

  1. I bet the pigs love it when you check on them with extra dinner! I saw an interesting story the other day about a turkey farmer who has lamas to protect his birds from foxes. Apparently lamas make good guards and attack predators 🙂

    • I try to, though i am not always successful – like you, both of us being so far from family, if I did not train myself to get busy and get over myself I would just lie down on the floor and howl.

  2. I love the description of this peaceful (if chilly) night round. All present and correct, all warm and well fed, and Miss C crossing paths with another lifetime or another world. I think we leave loud echoes in our homes and in the land, traces of our doings which can be heard or felt by those with the heart and imagination to do it. I particularly loved the description of the magnificent Sheila snoozing peacefully, surrounded by her woolly acolytes…

  3. Not quite as cold here (14 this morning), but I felt much the same as I made my last check last night. The moon lit clouds were interesting as well.

  4. If the moon wasn’t full last night, we’ll need to wear sunglasses if we go out tonight! Your description of the animals and birds all nestled in for the night brought a smile. I’ve got Max who climbs into bed early on and warms my side for me. Such a good dog, even if he doesn’t realize it. Surprised that the coyotes are relatively new in your area, Celi. They’ve been around here for some time. Not everyone sees them as a nuisance. Some fear for the pets but there are plenty who do not want the coyotes removed because they help with rodent control. I’ve not taken sides and am avoiding any discussions that may turn confrontational, be they political or coyote-based. 🙂

  5. Pity the cold wind is so nasty, brrrrr. I felt like I was walking right beside you doing last check on the Farmy. Laura

  6. Your writing,your words are stupendous. I feel l am there ,walking beside you, seeing what you see and feeling what you feel…absolutely wondetful. There is of course another life which runs paralell to our own,there has to be.There is no reason to consider that this life is all that there was or is…you are a visionary and l envy you..

      • Yes, but your ordinary life becomes unusual for us . You bring sensibilities from around the world to a small patch of land in rural midwestern USA. You bring camera house, which peers through its own visionary windows to see things afresh. And that old letterless computer keypad rather encourages your fingers to fly around like curious birds in search of hidden bits and seeds. So we wait at our own electronic screens for your passing through on nightly rounds to assurie us that our small world is safe and good.

  7. I often feel I have company when I’m doing ranch work — fencing in particular, and especially up on my range pasture. I’m pretty sure it’s my grandpa and possibly my uncle, both long gone but not forgotten. It’s nice to feel their presence and sometimes they slip in a little advice — “Girl, slip those fencing pliers under just here and twist — that’ll work better”. And, I usually get a “Ya done good, girl” when I’m finished.

    • You know how sometimes you look at a problem for days and then suddenly you are given the answer as a complete sentence. And there is no way you would ever have thought of that or have the knowledge to come to that answer. I wonder if that is your grandpa. I call it the Collective Memory, a kind of genetic memory. Passed down. Of course there is no foundation for that but i like the idea.

  8. [J] I think just the same way as you when out walking on a moonlit frosty night. Yes, including about parallel worlds! Not sure whether the moon was almost full or just past it, but it wasn’t perfectly round. The night here too was perfectly beautiful – the only clouds being those that added to the beauty, without diminishing the light. Good writing, Celi, but above all good thoughts and doings. Much appreciated!

  9. I think the moon must have been full last night! Coming home from my Yoga class it was just rising, and I found myself saying, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh’ over and over again. It was gigantic coming up over the mountains, and incredibly beautiful!!! I’m usually not out a night, as I dread driving in the dark, but this time it was a real treat to seen the enormous, magnificent moon! Speaking of Old Timers Celi, how is your Old Timer doing? I hope well. xo

  10. OK – How The Hell Do You Do What You Do – day and day out…. and I’m talking about your exceptional posts. This one in particular was so very poetical and lyrical. As I always tell you, you never fail to amaze me. About ‘the others’, I bet you’re feeling the spirits/shadows of those who went before you. I always think about those who ‘went before me’ here in this old yellow farmhouse and at our farmhouse in Quebec. I don’t think I ever told you how I was awakened one night… not long before I closed on our farm in Quebec and was set to move out soon … by two voices.. a male and female. I couldn’t make out what they were saying or if they were talking French. (I imagine so.) It scared me to death because I thought they were in the house but I totally believe they were two people who had lived there before me… and perhaps they didn’t want me to leave. ; o )

  11. Such a peaceful picture you paint Thank you for taking us on your walk under the Super moon. Maybe magnified by its parallel? Hope you keep warm.

  12. This was so beautifully written that I was spellbound. if you study quantum physics at all, you realize what you are writing about is more real than what we think is real. Not many can feel it as you do. I have not seen the moon as yet. We had quite a little snow storm yesterday and it took my son who is quite a good and experience driver 3 hours to drive the 22 miles from the airport on a solid sheet of ice. Hopefully it will show itself here tonight again. Be careful with that wind on your head and face. Those nerves there are quite sensitive.

  13. Waxing poetic today, great imagery. Made me think of a set of books that I read years ago, quasi science fiction, but not overly techy. Written by Spider Robinson Different worlds that intersect occasionally. The puns are magnificent and the humor is smart and rich. We are winding down the semester here at school and I am busy planning my holiday breakfast extravaganza which will include delicious tamales and sweet breads (not the organ type). Have a wonderful and tell the dogs hello for me.

  14. I often muse on that fantasy about parallel worlds. When you read stories about it – it’s often the parallel world that took a turn for the worst, but it’s just as possible that those worlds have utopias and we are by comparison a dystopia. It’s not hard to imagine when you look around at some of the horrors.

    But I mostly imagine, as you did, the daily life of some other me, running next to mine. Is she doing it better, is she as stressed about this or that? Did she fail in this project? It makes me determined not to be the me who failed to do the thing.

  15. In your writing today you have ignited childhood memories of walking from the barn to the house after doing chores. Moonlight lit my path as snow crunched below my boots and the icy air slapped my cheeks.

  16. I think many people share the same thoughts or feelings about parallel lives or something beyond what we see and experience that we can put a finger on. I do not think the majority of folks are open to the experience though. I do not have the experience of what feels like “others”, but I do see energy fields and I “feel” something out there – whether it is another soul or just an energy field of some kind I don’t know. Often I find it comforting and beautiful. And of course, I feel it mostly with animals and birds. I’m sure my neighbors think I’m a kook most of the time. When I see a flock of birds, I often lift my arms as if I am greeting them and lift my face to the sky, basking in the energy. I can feel energy from the earth. I am aware of some kind of radiance all around.
    As you know, we are battling a large coyote population here too. In my latest blog post I wrote of my struggle with their overpopulation, and what to do or not do about it. I am still not sure. 😦

  17. Wow! Great descriptive post–made me feel like I was right there with you. And the parallel universes? Shivers….

      • Yes, dearest—all ticking and kicking along as usual. I’ve gotten 3.5 more books out this fall, after incubating so much material for so long, and that all feels quite nice, but now it’s made me itchy to get back at making more visual stuff again and perhaps more regularly putting up blog posts as well.

        Nobody knows better than you how precious and short time is, so I know you understand. But I always appreciate coming by the farmy, if only in print thus far, to see through your eyes like this how bejeweled and magical even the smallest increments and elements can be. Thanks, ever, for that gift! Wishing you splendid travels and much peace and loveliness in the weeks ahead, no matter what comes.


  18. Thank you for this wonderful night walk – there’s so much peace in it – yes exactly like “fallen out of time” and so lovely told.

  19. Last night was the third of three supermoons, hence why it was so big and bright, it is at its closest point in its orbit to the earth. It was marvelous.
    I think we have experiences like you describe if we’re open to them. The strings touch and there opens a window to that time. I think we even occasionally get to step through briefly and back, like going through a section of a string. I’ve had a couple experiences when I was going someplace and was suddenly somewhere else, then back again at a more distant point. Once I was walking to a store, a very familiar route, but the houses disappeared and I was walking through a prairie, then just as suddenly I was back on the same street as before but much further down. Another time I was driving to work, down a street I drove every day. It was very much the same, things that I was familiar with suddenly were gone, just trees, prairie and no buildings then back to the familiar houess along the way.
    Queen Sheila and her acolytes, who knew a pig would be attended by cows. There are a lot of children’s stories on the farmy. Tane and Tima and their walk, Sheila and her cows. the piglets, Boo and Ton. The stories wouldn’t need to be much longer than this post with lots of photos.
    Stay warm.

  20. Oh my that was beautiful. I could hear the silence and feel those other souls, in their other worlds fusing themselves with ours. They are most certainly there and some of them probably seeing us too…

  21. Lovely to feel like we experienced your moonlit, crisp, evening rounds. Your words so evocative I felt myself transported. I sometimes feel those other dimensions. Our home especially has a quiet presence we attribute to its original owners who lived out their lives here. I quite like that we share it with them.

  22. Perhaps those you can feel around you are the blog readers! So often when I’m reading your posts I feel as though I am really at your farm, walking along with you. The mind is an amazing thing, who knows where it can go if we let it!

  23. Nature opens amazing doors for us and is so good for the soul. I’m sure your ritual of caring for the animals each night and walking the land creates the space for creativity to emerge, too. Thank you for taking us on your walk!

  24. That’s a really interesting proposition. I recently saw a photo taken by a trail camera. There was a medium size open field with a scraggly tree line on the left. Standing just out from the tree line was a distinct image of a woman, long skirt, apron, some type of bonnet pushed back off her head, looking out across the field. Was this just some trick of light rays and shadows or a ghost from the past? Maybe it was a break into an alternate time. The original log part of our house was built in 1886. I’ve never felt a presence, as in a person, here, but from the first day I walked into it I’ve felt a welcoming comfort, like a great sigh of relief. It makes me believe the lives that were lived out here were lived out in contentment.

    • Good that your house has that feeling – some houses not so much. There was a bedroom in this house that was toxic and gave people nightmares when, I turned it into a corridor – no-one sleeps in there now. c

  25. I am soon traveling to the gelid midwest, where my brother’s family had a chicken coop. I am curious to see how they fare in the winter months. I will hold an inspection

  26. Beautiful writing, Celi. I think of the phrase ‘between the worlds’ when I read of this strange cold place of yours, where animals huddle for the heat.

  27. I love your writing Celi .. I journey into the night with you. Hearing, feeling and smelling .. I’m sure there is something else. There has to be. Thank you lovely girl for sharing

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