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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lessons in the field

In which a deer reminds the human that "ill thoughts die and good are born, out in the fields with God..." E.B.Browning

During harvest, one gets wrapped up in it, completely. One has to. But, one is also in charge of their own madness. Yesterday the weather was perfect for my fair skin and slight tinge of weariness from too much wine the night before. During the harvest, we indulge in whatever we need to to sooth our limbs. For example, I had baked an apple pie and took it out of the oven about 5 pm. Instead of waiting for post dinner pie, I thought, heck, I worked my butt off and I shall eat a warm piece of pie before I return to the barn to stand on a ladder to hang bundles for the next 2 hours.

So when I entered the field in the morning, having left Martyn to hang bundles in the barn, I was calculating the harvested amount of lavender in my head. But there in front of me, within 4 feet of the car, stood a yearling. She didn't move and I greeted her out my window. I slowly passed her to my working spot in the field. Being close to any wild animal is an honor, and I took it as a cue to sit for awhile. I sat in the car with my bare arms slightly chilled from the breeze, but warmed as the sun bathed them.

It's a wonderful time of day here. The road is quiet, the roosters from the various properties are crowing. I could hear the young nest of crows on the river. The lavender field is 3 years old in spots so was in full bloom, and the bees were much farther along in there work than I was with mine.

As I began my work, the deer had walked to be on my left, about 15 feet away. She grazed on weeds, as I cut lavender. The wind made a pattern - first you hear the sound, then you feel it, then you hear it again. I worked 30 minutes, then returned to the car to rest a spell. Out the front window, I saw the pasture, full of loved creatures.