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Freedom

I have some pasture for the horses, but the area is not big enough to last for the whole summer. Luckily enough I'm allowed to use old pastures of a house located nearly a kilometer away from my place. Nowadays the house is used as a summer cottage - the owners spend there some time at their holidays. Fields belonging to the house are rented for a local farmer, who grows hay. In between the house and the fields there is area growing willows, grasses, flowers and some birches - I believe it to be an old pasture. Anyhow, it makes a good place for my horses.

Since it is early summer, horse-flies aren't yet around. But there are other, smaller biting bugs which are somewhat annoying for the horses. For an insect repellent I use a mixture of pine tar, vegetable oil and dried garlic - it seems to work pretty fine. So I though that in the early summer horses could stay in the pasture for days and nights even if they don't have any shelter there. Couple of days ago I set up fences, and friday morning I took my horses there to graze. Later on in the evening I visited to check that everything is OK with the horses. They were fine, yet Velmu looked a bit like he would like to go back home. "Oh, hold on boy!" I said to him. "Tomorrow I have a long day at work, I'll be away from home. I think it is better for you to stay here for the night and tomorrow day. You have plenty of grass to eat, and there aren't that many insects around. And when I'm done with my work, I'll again come to take a look at you. Then I can take you back home if you feel like that." I went back home and the horses stayed peacefully grazing in their new pasture.

Saturday was indeed a long day of work. I visited my friend who lives some 160 km from my place - which means two hours of driving a car to get there. But I get to see my friends. And there always are enough customers for the whole day, as my friend has arranged everything. After doing that much massage, eating and talking with friends, I went driving back home. At this time of year sun hardly sets here - it was getting 11 pm, and it was still light. It was a nice drive, watching the scenery and thinkin about philosophy... And I was also thinking if my horses really understand what I talk to them. Like, will they be waiting for me to visit them after I get back from my work? What if I don't go, if I feel too tired and decide to go sleeping as soon as I get back home? Does that count as a promise broken?

I was almost at home when I suddenly saw movement ahead - a big animal, partly covered by roadside willows. An elk, maybe? I slowed down, drove on and got a better look. It wasn't an elk, it was a horse. Actually, both of my horses. For a reason or another they had crossed their fence and were roaming free on the village road. Oh well. I was near one of my neighbours, so I drove my car to their yard, got out and returned to the road. The horses immediately came to greet me. I talked to them softly, saying: "Where are you going, my fine horses? Let's take this shorter route and go back home. Oh, come on, let's go!" And so we went. The horses would have followed me unleashed, but I wanted to be sure and held Velmu's halter with my hand (I didn't have a lead rope with me). While walking I sent a message to the neighbours, shortly explaining why my car is at their yard. They called back, saying that they can take my car to my yard so I don't have to walk back in the midnight to fetch the car. I said: "Thank you, that would be very nice!"

After a while everything was peaceful and gathered at my place. Bit after midnight I was ready to sleep, thinking that tomorrow I'll go to check the summer pasture, trying to figure out how the horses crossed their fences. And at sunday (it is today) I went to check the fences. The fence is made of two band of electric wire - without electricity connected. I found a place where the lower band was elevated - it seemed like the horses had used their head and neck to raise the bands so that they can sneak under and get outside. There were hoofprints on the soil, and they revealed that the horses had left in a peaceful manner - no running in panic. And they had left from such a place where the fence is next to the fields. The fields are growing rich, tasty grass. I followed the hoof prints a bit on the field, but coulnd't see a single mark of grass being bitten. So, evidently, they dind't escape because they wanted to eat the grass which always is greener on the another side of the fence. It seemed that they just wanted to enjoy freedom and go to see places... At this point I thought to myself that it was lucky that I spotted the horses on the very road I was driving - had the horses been anywhere else, I would have been looking for them in the midnight without any clue.

Today the horses stayed at home - I guess I'll wait for a week or so, that the grass will re-grow, and then take them again to the pasture. (And before that I have to improve the fence so that it won't be so easy to escape...) My other activities for today were cooking outdoors and sowing broad beans. Now the sun is setting, and under an apple tree in my yard I have a bath tub full of hot water. I guess I'll go have a bath, watching the apple tree which is just beginning to bloom. Thinking about it, I enjoy a sense of freedom in my life. I mean, I feel I'm free to be myself, to live the life I like. (And once again - I so do like my neighbours!) Years back when I graduated from the university, I felt that I like philosophy, but I won't like another aspects of academic lifestyle - spending a lot of time indoors, reading books about other books. But now, with my countyside downshifted lifestyle I'm free to have summer night bath in my yard, while thinking about philosophy. I know my thoughts won't qualify as academic studies, but I don't care - I like to think and to discuss with my old fellow students just for the fun of it. So, maybe more about that in the posts to come...

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tags: 
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