The Burn Pile, and After

Recently, we went to a burn pile event at a neighbor’s.  He had invited us and some other folks to come hang out and picnic while the mound of this and that burnable stuff he had compiled burned down. We had also contributed some old, non usable wood to the pile, so we felt a part of it, and thought this sounded fun – a country, socializing time. So, we packed up a watermelon and headed up.

There was a bit of a challenge getting this fairly gigantic pile of wood and debris pile to light. Our neighbor decided to use a gas can to dowse the wood ( it was his first burn pile attempt ), and the fumes from the can caught fire and exploded. From the vantage point of those of us watching, it looked as if he had been engulfed in a wall of fire. We watched aghast and astounded as he leapt straight up in the air like an antelope – straight up and over a barbed wire, seven foot tall fence! It was such an astonishing sight to see. It seemed super human, and was definitely adrenaline/survival fueled. He did get burned a bit on his arms, but he used his skills as as an accupunture/Chinese medicine graduate to treat it, fortunately. Even so, he thought that he would blister. Hawk saw him the next day, and he did blister a bit… his arms had turned into something akin to a bad sunburn.  BUT – it could have been SO much worse.  it could have been a tragedy.

Other then this drama, what was memorable for me, and also funny about this social event was that they had their 3 huge, pet pigs wandering around where we were eating, watching the fire, and talking. Occasionally, they would wander under the table heavily laden with food and, being as large as they were, almost up end it. Everyone thought they were adorable. All present were petting them, cooing at them, and loving on them. But not me. I did not love on them. Even though I am a great animal lover, I am not a pig person( except for pork chops and bacon). They just looked like long, bristly, strange sorts of slugs, with wet, unpleasant, snuffly snouts, squealing and grunting.  Fat slugs – layers and layers of fat ….fat that was hanging down to the ground… 10 chins of fat.

All of us attending this party were environmental imports – none of us are intrinsically local to the area, so we had a bit of fun laughing about being good ol’ boys sitting around in plastic chairs at the burn pile, with pigs rooting around and demanding food. I had to laugh inwardly at my amazement that there I was, sitting in the woods with pet pigs – a never would have thought I’d end up here, sort of thing – or “What’s a nice ( once upon a time ) Jewish girl like you doing here??” But, there I was, sitting in my plastic chair, with pigs, eating watermelon.

After we left the party, my husband and I were walking down the gravel road to get back home. Somehow, my foot slipped as a clump of rocks rolled out from under me, and I fell hard – and down I went. For some moments, the pain was so great that i could not move. I had torn a huge gash on my leg that looked as if it went to the bone. A big flap of skin could be pulled back to reveal this gaping hole. Lovely.  Really tore me up. Poor Hawk was so appalled when he looked at my knee. He and I were trying to decide about whether to go to the emergency room and get stitches, as I am lying there bleeding in the road, or healing it ourselves using green clay.  I opted for the clay, and ( Thank God ), when we took the bandage off a day and a half later, it was closed – no infection whatsoever.  Hawk tended to me with such loving care and concentration.  He did a great job. I had to stay basically immobile for 30 hours so as not to break the clay, and getting up to pee was a real ordeal.  It involved hanging onto Hawk’s neck as he slowly pulled me up, and then needing to stand there by the bed until this vast wave of pain receded a bit. Not a fun week. It was the deepest wound I have ever had. It has healed beautifully though, and hopefully there will not be too much of a scar, as I have used plantain healing slave and vitamin E, plus taking arnica, a homeopathic remedy for shock to the body.

What was amazing about this episode was that, as Hawk helped me limp down the road to get home after the fall, blood dripping into my shoe, as we approached our blueberry patch, standing at the top of the hill was a beautiful doe.  We have lived here three years now, and and not once have I seen a deer. But, there she was – standing still, gazing right at me with the most compassionate, concerned look on her face.  She stayed there gazing at us, and us at her, for quite a while. It was as if I could sense a direct line of energy connecting us, and I felt wrapped up in a wave of love and caring. It was something quite special.

Magically enough….my name, that I chose for myself when I was 29, means “deer”.

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