Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Sunday, November 07, 2010

Daily, nightly I know



I've never, ever taken this life on the farm for granted. I arrived here late, in my mid forties. It took awhile for everything to line up right to get me here, with the right person at the right time.

I've been writing a memoir about it, and that experience has made my love for the farm even more intense. I am not wealthy, although there seems to be a misperception by some that I am. I guess if you live on a farm, or have acreage, and you are an artist and are your own boss, you speak your mind, that some how equates to "She must have a trust fund or money". But I don't. I'm so rich though. Much richer than anyone I know. That must sound arrogant, but I feel that way.

My work has become more and more and more meaningful to me. Writing and combining it with art, inspired by the animals that come and go, it's just a good life, with or without health care insurance. Each morning, I greet my sheep, I love so many things about them - their individual expressions, the way some still leap even as adults, their eyes, the tight curl of their hair in damp weather. At night, I return to the barn, they are there waiting for me, and the barnyard chores are the way we all catch up with each other, "How was your day? It was a good day to be a sheep I think."

I like the steadiness of my life now. I feel like I get it. I'm not perfect, I haven't arrived - I just mean that I feed my sheep, I protect my rooster and hens, I make some art that shares a story, or inspires someone to do one small thing they've always wanted to do. I can make someone happy with a one minute puppet show.

This morning the predicted rains didn't transpire. Instead, I walked to the barn in a light fog, and walked with the sheep down to their field. The sun was above the fog and made small streaks of light on the damp backs of my flock. It made me beam.



14 comments:

Lisa of Lisa's Little House said...

I relaxed just reading this...thank you for a snippet of your day.
xxoo,

Ima Weed said...

Loving the life we are living is what really matters. It sounds to me like you have all the wealth you need. Now money is a different thing.

Kathy said...

Sounds like a you are very happy. That is a good thing for sure. Your animals are so happy to have you caring for them.

Sharon said...

...now THAT was magical!

Sycamore Moon Studios said...

Put me on the list to read your memoirs when you are done. Blessings to you and yours.

Amber said...

I totally agree, nothing "richer" or more meaningful than spending time with my animals. I love how each of my chickens has their own little personalities...and to watch them in their "world" - the barnyard. It really helps simplify my life and I think we all need that in this fast paced world. Give me a barnyard over a spa any day of the week.
Hugs
Amber

Suzen said...

Hey Katherine, The first thing I noticed was that your sheep are so nice and clean; they are clearly well cared for. It does seem like a nice life, although full of hard work and many long days and some sadness at times. I hope you benefit financially from your book so that you can get health insurance, if nothing else. I love that you don't romanticize life on the farm, but present it just as it is. How anyone could think someone living your lifestyle was wealthy is beyond me. But then many people don't do much harder work than attend to their blackberries, and so forget there are other ways to live involving rolled up shirtsleeves and mud.

Jody said...

Thank you for sharing this part of your life. You'll never know how generous and soothing your writing can be to one who LONGS for a morning walking with the sheep, or that trip to barn late, in the afternoon dusk. You follow your bliss and I tag along, vicariously. Many thanks . . .

Missouri Bend Paper Works said...

What a warm and heartfelt post...many thanks! You keep fine company in those delightful animals!
Best wishes...Patti

Carol Gabbert said...

As always, thank you for this wonderful, wise message. I came to life "late" and I am loving every moment in gratitude for how ever many days are left, "with or without health care insurance"!

Delisa said...

I sure enjoyed reading your post today Katherine. I think what you were describing so beautifully is "contentment". I love to see people who are truly contented, it is inspiring, comforting and so hopeful. I remember once a friend of mine looked at my quiet little life and said, "I know you just must be bored out of your mind!". I felt like I had been struck, the thought of boredom had never even occurred to me. I loved my life, even the most mundane and homey of tasks were joyful because I was doing them for my loved ones and at last I had the chance to express myself in numerous creative ways. A slower pace of life, the ability to breathe, simplicity, the gift of being able to tend to someone or something and share; are precious.

Apifera Farm said...

Glad to add relaxation to your day, Lisa- are you sleeping now? LOL.Ima, I always joke I'd be a superaltive rich person, feeding needy donkeys and goats and keeping just enough to have a better bathtub. And a frm hand so I could take one weekend here or there. Kathy, Sharon, thnk you. Sycamore, let's hope, I really love the book want it to get published. AMber, my sheep are clean, so sweet! I take a lot of time to keep their bedding clean, but they are hair sheep so probably look cleaner than wool sheep this time of year. Jody. glad you can tag along. Ms Paper Works, They are such good companions, Carol, yes, it's like 'pinch me moments' over and over, isn't it? Delisa, I would have felt struck too! My goodness, I have some friends that love to travel, and they buy a lot of stuff, much of it nice, but they never stop. They think I live like a bum [and don't work hard enough because 'with my talent I should be rich' they once said...We are lucky to have this perspective.

Lilli said...

Read your words with great joy, Katherine. Unfortunately, I don't live on a farm; just in this rural area surrounded by farms... no animals any longer, just grass and corn. When it comes to money, we're quite poor, but I have never felt richer than I do now...

Apifera Farm said...

I always ask myself what it takes to do the things i love most- none require wealth. Money gives us options, for sure, and it is necessary/ We do alot of barter here, recycle old stuff, but mostly, how many shoes does one person need.I am glad you feel rich.

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~