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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Monday, October 03, 2016

"Chipmunk! Winter is coming! Do you know it will be cold?"

We took down a dead Alder this summer that has about two cords of good, long boring wood for us and it has taken up most of Martyn's hours these past few days. We have about four cords ready maybe six. We have a furnace too so I think we are ready....for It.

We are not ones to have a warm house anyway, and the size of this place is easy to heat and keep pipes working. Yesterday I spent the afternoon stacking while Martyn took the tractor and retrieved the wood. He took great pleasure in driving back with yet another load, and dumping it near my feet, just as I had finished stacking the last load.

But there is something really therapeutic and rewarding about stacking wood. It is similar to getting the hay in the barn each year. You feel you are getting the nest all hunkered down for you and yours.

The entire population from all over the country is letting us know the winter is coming, as if we don't know. I just watch the little chipmunk outside by bedroom each morning-now there is a busy little chap. Funny, you don't hear anyone saying,

"Chipmunk! Winter is coming! Do you know it will be cold?"

Anyway...we know winter is coming. We see it in the beginning wooly coats of the equines, and early evenings, the wind sounds different because leaves are crisper and some have fallen making the forest sound...like winter.

We have a plan for keeping paths open to the barns in the snow months, and keeping the areas near the house manageable for the dogs. Our new frost free pumps we put in for water are ready for action. We will get my all weather tires this month and I need to get some more deicers for water buckets for barns. I'm sure we will learn what part of our infrastructure needs improving, but we can't do it all in the first summer/fall. We need more wood sheds, which will happen soon.

To be honest, I feel I need a nice cold winter with lots of snow. I wrote a list the other day of all the change and loss at the old farm, right up until this month with Huck and Raggedy's death. I shared it on Facebook not to seek sympathy, but to express that as I looked at the long list, I was overwhelmed. I think that by being in the thick of it all for those years, I really didn't have time to grieve long. I just kept moving on to the next death. I didn't shun it, I didn't get jaded, I felt it and did what had to be done, I expressed and homaged it through writing and art, but I also did not stop..not once.

I think this winter especially is the universe's way of letting me stop, crumble like the beautiful leaves all around me underfoot, hibernate in my little 1760 house and lick my skin and hold my heart. There is much percolating under the ground all winter, and spring will bring so many new things...new surprises...new creatures...and I will be rested.