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Digging a grave for Spritey

i got a call yesterday from my friend Sara

which normally wouldn’t be a big deal, nothing to write about

but the call came in the middle of the day – Saturday.

Saturday she’s usually working at the farmer’s market

she doesn’t have a cell phone and the call came from her home

so i knew something was up.

turned out that Spritey, one of her 4 horses, had died.

she was calling friends to help dig Spritey’s grave.

i wasn’t able to go yesterday but went today.

brought apple spice muffins & a shovel.

it was cold today, snowing some, & grey.

“a perfect day for a funeral” she said as we walked back to the house to make lunch

Spritey was 3/4 Belgian Clydesdale and 1/4 light horse.

a chestnut beauty with a calm disposition

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this is Connor & Spritey scratching each other in tandem with their teeth back in 2011

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we hacked & dug into the earth with pickaxes & shovels

the soil was hard

clay, stones

it was slow going work

people would come and go

working in the deepening pit

just near an apple tree

asking to take a turn as the cold settled in just standing there talking with the others

three was a manageable number of bodies that seemed to work safely in the 11′ x 8′ grave site

someone remarked how “this was the way ALL cellars were once dug…”

reflections on chain gangs, prisoners, slaves doing this sort of heavy labor…

talk of death, dying, living, life…

sharing ideas and experiences around beings we’ve loved who are no longer embodied.

as the other three horses stood nearby

sometimes watching, sometimes eating hay

Claire, the main mare – and Sara’s best friend for 27 years – got into the apple basket…

a mix of sweet and sorrow

people came to help yesterday, and today

a community net of friends supporting

the flock of wild turkeys that hang around walked by

a murder of crows – easily over a hundred – and one raven flew overhead

i have no tidy way of ending this post

i just wanted to try to share some of the beauty & poignancy of the day

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this is Sara working with Claire & Connor in 2011.

Sara is an amazing person – i love how deeply she appreciates friends and community

how she recognizes our connections and the interdependency of things…

the truth of the world.