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

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

We wait on the mothers



The elder matriarch spends most of her day resting. She is very arthritic now, and pretty much stands with her head low to ground so laying down is more comfortable for her. This will be her last season. I have to admit that but she has had a very good life and she has given us so much. She lives with the mothers-to-be who are due to lamb this week. I thought we might ave some today but nature isn't ready.

I like to sit out in the barn with everyone - the mothers to be, Daisy, and her elder daughter Lilly who was one of our first lambs back in '05. Cornelia the pig continues to sleep by Daisy which nearly breaks my heart every time. Daisy is patient with her and doesn't mind her eating near her so she goes to her for warmth.

I decided to breed last fall, before we decided to move to Maine. At first when we knew we'd be moving, I kicked myself for breeding. But now I'm glad I did. I think it will be a good way to finish my shepherdly duties here, I hope so anyway. I told a friend I felt like I wasn't here, but I wasn't there either-and I try to breathe, feel my feet on the ground and be present. But limbo is no fun, it's unsettling and quite draining.  I'm finding that walking is good, and any hands on work with my animals and land is healing-as it always has been, but perhaps in a slightly more raw way right now.

It's interesting that some things have happened in the past months that are clear messages to me from the land itself-the lavender finally bit the dust and it was its time to die as it is 12 years old and due to the rains this winter, sheep damage and age, they just all died. I am not sorry, it was time. Little things like that-or the fact after 12 years we finally had a dog mauling of one of our sheep and I just thought, "I'm tired, tired of trying to keep everyone safe." I'm not tired of the sheep, it's the daunting fact I have to keep them safe in nature itself. I am not the queen of Nature.

So lambing might give me some more messages like this.

But every day, White Dog looks in my eyes, and I feel comfort from him as we say together,

Everything is okay.

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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 ~