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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Bower of Dreams...part one

It was a Tuesday in May and like many of my days I was mingling with Apifera, surrounded by creatures and land, void of any leader except for the muses in my heart.

I had just conversed with the sun overhead, so knew it was noon by minutes. And that's when I first saw the door.

I was instantly intrigued by its mystery but also rather spooked by its strange location, floating some 15 feet up off the ground with the hayloft sitting off to its side. The old wooden door was accessible only by a tall ladder making the purpose of the room lying behind it even more provocative for my Lucy Ricardo mindset.

Upon moving to Apifera, Martyn had politely banned me from climbing in the upper hayloft until we had all the old beams inspected and reinforced. But since peeking in the room would only require a tall ladder and meant I was not technically standing on the hayloft, I continued on like any explorer would, with gusto.

With a landscaper husband, one does not lack for handy tools and equipment and I dragged a long straight extension ladder some 50 feet over the donkey paddocks until I was under the door. The donkeys proceeded to join me and Paco especially was very curious with the goings on - he has always had an acute guarding sense, so this was no real surprise. He is also the resident worrier, so as I started the 15 foot climb, my heart twitterpated at the destination, Paco stood patiently below like any good watchmen would.

I sensed the door had not been opened in a very long time and perhaps it was just as surprised and intrigued with my sudden appearance as I was at finding it in the first place. While there was an element of creepiness to the door, my curiosity was grander than my fear, and I slowly pulled the handle, ducking slightly to prepare myself for any fleeing bats or birds.

Like entering Oz, the walls of the small room colorized before my eyes with vintage rose wallpaper and a wooden platform bed sitting atop a carpet scrap of green. A large barn window was swung open allowing the chatter of the hen house below to billow in and the distant Doug Firs added an abstract painting to the window frame.

There was a childlike quality to the room and I sensed a boy or girl had once written secret diaries there and dreamed of excursions far away from the farm. The faded wall paper of vintage roses tacked to the wooden planked barn walls made me wonder if tea parties of gangly school mates had been held there, with visiting mice hiding under the bed platform waiting for cookie crumbs.

The room felt a bit lonely though, like it had once enjoyed the daily company mentioned above, but now sat unkept, its only company that of the voices of the animals taking shelter below or the spring bees that came every year to nest in the gutters.

As I descended the ladder, I felt the room needed some dignity back in its frame. It needed a proper name that would capture its magic. Landing two feet back on the ground, the donkeys surrounded me and I put my hand over my heart and declared out loud,

“Mystery room, I now name you The Bower of Dreams.

A bower was the private withdrawing room of a medieval castle where the residing Lady could sleep or be at peace with herself, and this seemed fitting for the small private spot in the sky.

Later that day, I told Martyn about The Bower of Dreams and he climbed the ladder to take a peek but seemed much less intrigued with it than I was.

“Maybe a farmhand lived there,” he said matter of factly.

I hadn’t met that many farmhands yet, but I didn’t imagine one decorating with vintage rose speckled wall paper.

We were both so busy with the many tasks of fixing, building and growing Apifera, that The Bower of Dreams sat undisturbed for almost a year or more. But every night when I put the chickens away, I looked up at the open window to the room, half expecting to see a light on with old music playing.

And one night, that's exactly what happened.

Quick! I have to read Part Two >


Anonymous said...

I love a good mystery and this one is very intriguing.

Anonymous said...

Katherine, you have me begging for more! Can't wait for part 2.

Anytime you are ready.

:) Emily Jane

Anonymous said...

Katherine, you have me salivating for more! Can't wait for part 2...hurry...:)

Emily Jane

Lisa of Lisa's Little House said...

Arrghh...more please!

Jody said...


lindacreates said...

Ohhhhhhh, I can't wait a week!

Unknown said...

Love this, you tease!

Jeannie said...

Oh, I am going up the ladder with you! (I am not sure I would have had the willpower not to go in the first time.) I have plans for that room! A studio, a place to hide, a place to watch and no one can see me......I can't wait for "the rest of the story".

Delisa said...

I can't wait to hear the rest of the story! Don't keep us in suspense too long! Have a lovely evening, Delisa :)

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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 ~