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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Prayer Flag Tree

I've had a secret little prayer flag tree on Donkey Hill for some time, where I put raggedy flags to send prayers to people who might need them, or situations that are scary or sad for me. It has largely been anonymous, I don't usually tell the person I'm hanging a flag for, or write about it here except on one occasion.

But I got to thinking it would be really sweet to have a special Prayer Flag Tree at our last Pino Pie Day. I did think about it-prayers should come for free and quietly as I've been doing all along. But I put it to the Dirt Farmer, who is usually stoic and fair minded in these matters. He thought it was a nice idea and a way for followers and friends to help Apifera's fundraiser, but also have some Apifera wind floating a prayer for them or a loved one/pet.

Today I hung the first flags. I have to say it felt really nice. It's such a simple expression but what makes it even more special is the little tree they hang on, directly in front of my studio where the gardens begin. That little tree struggled for years in a landscaper container to survive. You see, Martyn has his own Misfits of Plants. Ever since I met him, he can't bare to throw out trees and plants that are dug up on his many job sites. This plum tree was about two feet tall when I met her, and was a perfect candidate to be Charlie Brown tree. She lived in a pot until we got to Apifera, where she lingered another couple years in the same pot before our gardens became more established. Finally, her roots were set free into the soil. It was still small and crooked, and after a couple years, it gave us one sweet little plum. Last year it really put on a beautiful show of color and gave us buckets of plums.

But this spring, we could tell that half of it did not survive the winter. It could have been a myriad of things-insects, blight, disease....or the fact that Stella and Iris got to the bark at some point in their illustrious careers. While the bark was not destroyed, coupled with other things, it might have killed part of the sweet tree. We sawed those branches off, and of late, the other leaves are shrinking. There is one tiny plum on her! What a precious thing, to struggle so and give us one plum!

We don't know if the tree will make it, so I told Martyn I thought she was the perfect place to hang the prayer flags for Pino's Pie Day. In that way, we are honoring her life too.

If you'd like to have a prayer flag hung in someones honor, be it pet, friend or loved one [or you!], just visit the Pino funding page and look for the Prayer Flag level.