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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Friday, October 08, 2021

"It made me feel like I was home again," she said

Yesterday we had another special visit from Cove's Edge including Linda, who is blind and has many health issues, and Pat the Cat [we have dubbed her this as she adores cats and had a house full at one time].

These smaller visits are really what I love, as they allow more intimacy with the elders, and me, and the animals. I was so touched because before they left, Linda called me over and held my hand [touch is very important for her] and handed me a card. She told me, in tears, that the last visit with Biggs and The Teapot meant so much to her and it helped her spirits for days. I read her card later and in part it said,

"The horses and the dog made me feel like I was home again after years. It lifted my spirits for days and I'll always cherish that visit. I enjoyed myself for the first time in a very long time."

This of course is why we do this, to lift them up, to give them something outside of the confinement and lack of independence they are faced with at the residence. As we had our visit, there was a lawn mower in the distance, and geese flying overhead. I realized at the residence they never hear these things, things we all hear and take for granted, and a lawn mower might be considered an annoyance, but to those in the home, it is a reminder of their old life. It must be a continual bittersweet sensation when they think of home.

Pat the Cat at one point said..."So peaceful." I commented that at the residence it is very hard to find a spot of one's own to just sit, and be alone in peace and quiet. She agreed. Pat the Cat is a friendly, nice woman but we all need, and some of us more than others, our time alone to just be with our thoughts.

Such simple things we often take for granted. My work with the elders has enriched my life in many ways-giving me a sense of purpose, but also, it has cemented my simple need to just enjoy what I have, and I do. Sure, I have off days, but today for example I was walking to the end of our property to put up 'No Hunting' signs that had fallen, and I was looking at the fallen leaves. So many colors dotting the ground, they crunched and smelled so good. Imagine being born and the first thing you witness is the pretty colors of falling leaves. I've always enjoyed nature, and good food too, but now, I relish in them. I love taste and smells and the comfort of good home made food. I do not lack, and I do not have a need to want to dine out. I am a content homebody. It could all be gone someday, my life as it is, and my elder work shows me that. Rather than be depressed of that possibility in the future, I shake it off and relish in the moment. 

I am glad I can help them, I wish I could give them their homes again but I can't. 

I was happy White Dog partook in the day too. He had a sore morning, I could tell, and he dd not come out of the barn all morning after chores. I did not want to force him. But right about when they were due to arrive, he perked up and insisted on coming to the gate and he waited. It's like he knew they were coming. Knowing him as I do, I don't doubt he knew they were coming to visit. So in he came. What a healer he is, but of course, now with his bone cancer, these meetings take on a double meaning, a stoic one, a heartfelt and bittersweet one....but I'm so glad he can have this in his final days or weeks.