Once in a while we are treated to something unusual, fascinating and timeless.
This morning at around 7, neighbor Andreas hitched up his mules and set out to prepare the earth to sow oats. Though rudimentary, the plough ‘seemed’ to easily cut through the rain softened sod and the mules eager to work. The team had cultivated perhaps a stremma and a half before 10 am.
Pausing for a brief interview while friend Dimitri took the reins (really), Andreas seemed pleased and proud to be doing this work.
“No tractor this year”, he said, “we’ll take it slowly and get the job done”. He told me that they will later bring in a small mechanized cultivator to turn under the sown oats and smooth the soil.
Dimitris also chimed in with how gratified he was to be taking part in this traditional work. He had brought along his 5 year son Iannis to watch. The priest Papa Kostas, passing by after an exhumation ceremony, urged me to take photos. (As if I needed coaxing)
The person behind the plough has a lot to do – guiding the animals with one hand and the plough with the other so, though the morning was cool, both men were sweating after their alternating 5 minute stints.
The mules are Italian, bred for their size and strength. Readers may be familiar with them as they work sometimes transporting trash out of the village. They are the big ones.