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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"This is where you define yourself," said the trees

It's a beautiful autumn day. You cherish them even more this time of year. I was restless inside and took my camera up to Muddy Hill where the sheep were grazing. There is this part of the woods up there that as you climb up the hill, you reach the sky and the ground merges into it. It is a place that I've always loved climbing to, with the dogs, or on my own. And the sheep were milling around, some eating fallen oak leaves, others napping, like the elderly Daisy who is going on eleven. She is showing her age, with no teeth, laying down more, a bit arthritic, but her life is good. She was retired at age eight and now lives amongst her daughters and grand daughters. I take each month with her as a blessing, as she was one of my first two sheep and helped build our flock; she taught me so much with patience and gave back even more through her offspring.

One of my favorite parts of this hilly wood area is a clump of Savannah Oaks that grew in a formation so that there is a little magical space inside it. Daisy was napping in front of it. It is big enough for me to stand in and I've always felt it has some kind of magical qualities, like if I stand there long enough maybe I'll be transported far away, or maybe I can talk to whoever I want to even if they are gone.

It is like one of the sumac forts I had as a child-a place to go to and be unencumbered by the outside world. As a child that outside world seemed simpler than the one I live in today. I certainly don't remember people being so angry, but back then there were no anonymous faces barking at each other without rules on a cyber road.

I went to that hill today because I was restless. I wasn't sure what I needed to do that would satisfy that restlessness. It was the pull of the hill that drew me up there, and the sheep. The flock always ground me and bring me happiness. I communed with Chessa, and old Daisy and Alma. But when I stood in that clump of trees, a huge visceral sensation poured through me-physically.
It spoke loud and clear to me-

"This is where you define yourself, and carry it back with you."

Nobody defines me, or this farm. That's my job.