Another rural paradise revisited--this time Nova Scotia farmland, where the author spent his childhood. Mr. Buckler arranges a hedonist's display of sensual images and metaphor--""houses stunned with midnight.. .oxen rising like prophecies.. . the cold hardens to brutality"" and goes on to recreate a village of hard grained, strong and resilient people, the memory of family love. Schooling, courting, hot stove politics, illness, weddings and funerals are remembered with humor and affection, tricked out in meditative asides that edges beyond sentiment. On his homeward way the author slings a few crabapples at the city-contemporary mind and mores, calling, for the pure and honest ways when his world was young. Village portraits, apocryphal tales, kettle-bubbling reminiscences round out the wonder of it all. A fiercely, defiantly loving tribute to a pristine way of life, when hitching up a horse with Dad on a winter morning was the ultimate happiness. Artful nostalgia.