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

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Monday, April 04, 2016

Mother Tulip returns! We rejoice in life!

I wondered if she would return this year. I thought it might be fitting if she didn't, since we are leaving. But then again, when I saw her little head poke out of the spring ground, in the same spot as last year, I thought,

"She has come to say Safe journey, be on your way.

Like every year, she begins folded tenderly in a tight closed flower head with her yellow coloring on the edges, which burst out red when she opens. Mother Tulip first appeared three years ago. On April 4th, 2013, my beloved mother died, suddenly really, at age 87. My mother loved tulips, as did I, and in Minnesota we always planted bulbs no matter what house we lived in. When Martyn and I moved to the farm, my mother sent us about fifty tulip bulbs. That was twelve years ago and over the years, the bulbs petered out as they do until there were only about 6 tulips, then maybe 4 the next year.

Several days after my mother died, a lone tulip bloomed amongst the Muscari. I felt my mother greeting me, trying to cheer me on,

I'm around, don't worry, go on now and be happy on your farm with your animals. I'm okay.

For the past three years since then, she has returned, still the only tulip.

It is also Boone's 18th birthday. Back in 2013, you might remember that I mentioned that at first I thought it was kind of sad that his birthday would always be entwined in my mother's death date. But immediately I changed that thinking, for it was a perfect example of life going on after death. We must embrace the living and cherish the memories of the dead, but let them walk with us in different forms as we carry on without them.

So that tulip is symbolic of the circle of life. She is strong and unique. She bends with the wind. I am glad she returned one more time to see us. I guess we will never know if she pops up next year. But that's okay, she has given us all she could here. I will plant tulips in Maine and will think of the lone tulip who brought me happiness, and the mother who taught me to plant tulips in the fall for their cheerful greetings in spring after winter's slumber.

1 comment:

Corrine at corrinegilman.com said...

Maybe there will be a lone tulip in Maine anyway, you never know. Maybe there will be lots of tulips in Maine, if they can survive the deer anyway. Plan on jonquils! xox

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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 ~