Friday, June 18, 2010

Going Gnome.....A Going Away Party

I knew my time with April was coming to a close. I heard her speak in a somber tone that I was to be going home soon. She wanted to do something special for me, make a special mark in my heart, so that I would not forget my time with if that would ever happen. I've had the most wonderful time in Little Rock, and Martha, Jane and Henry have become extra special friends. I must admit I was excited to be going home, but so sad to be leaving. I am still not sure I understand the feelings of bitter sweetness, nor do I particularly like it. How can one be happy and sad at the same time? It feels like a hole that's half way full.

To commemorate my leaving I was told by April that a party was in order. She wanted me to go home with a BANG, no gun intended. So April arranged a meeting with the local gnome colony. She thought a tea party was in order before sending me home. April then bought some red felt and gave us buttons, glue, chocolates and beads to create something we wouldn't soon forget. She pre-cut and sewed together a funny shape from the felt and then told us to glue to the red felt shape anything we liked from the collection of trinkets. I ate some chocolates, as did the others, and we had a great time gluing our crafty item.

April, in the meantime, cut some artificial beards and moustaches from white fabric, and as we worked, she secured the beards around our necks and taped the moustaches onto our faces. Earlier in the week we had made some cookies, rolling out dough, and cutting the dough into shapes of gnomes. Then it hit me.....we were making gnome hats because the gnomes had accepted April's request to have a tea party! That's what the cookies were for, and now we would have hats and beards just like our friend William, who was the head gnome of his colony. With new fervor I completed my hat and helped Martha with hers because, no matter how she tried, she could not get the glue to squirt out of the bottle. Henry was a different story...he could not get the glue to STOP coming out of the bottle!

On this warm summer afternoon, we arrived at the gnome village. I was so impressed by it's tidiness and tininess. The gnomes were larger than some of the small wooden houses I saw. Inquiring my thought to William, he told me that sometimes the fairies came for a visit when they were passing through on their way to make-believe lands. William and his colony had to make sure the fairies were well cared for, as everyone knows that fairies are the carriers of light and peace in the world. I peeked inside the windows, hoping to see a fairy, but alas, there were none. With our red felt hats atop our heads and surrounded by the friendly gnomes, we all sat and drank some jingleberry tea, ate some fru fru plunes, and of course, nibbled on our gnome cookies. Fru fru plunes tasted a little like strawberries, of which we all were very fond. William told stories of the fairies who have visited. Even the Queen of Trestlewood graced them with her presence every now and again. I didn't know who that was, but I imagined she must be a very important and special fairy. William said The Queen of Trestlewood was indeed a very important fairy. She is the Queen of all the Fairy Lands, keeper of all flowers seeds and small creatures. What an honor it would be to see her, I thought. William then said we could read some stories about the heritage of gnomes, and handed me a book, so that I could read aloud to all who were present.
Coursin, the mouse, sat perched on the pages as I read, making sure I wouldn't leave out any of the good parts. We read about the orgin of gnomes and how they came to be creatures of the garden, creatures of the wood, who watch over the trees and earth, and dance in the moonlight all summer long. We learned about their beards and what they eat, where they sleep, and why they dress the way they do. Oh, I won't spoil it for you! Everyone should read about gnomes!
As we finished the stories (the crowd was captivated!) William announced he had a surprise for all of us who were new to the group. Martha and Jane's eyes were as round as saucers when I finished reading, and Henry was so excited he almost barked. I knew if Abbot were here he'd be gargling. I was pretty giddy myself, maybe from all that jingleberry tea. I would have to take some of that home for my maker and Abbot to try.
William, being leader of the colony, made a grand speech about how good it was that we were with them on that afternoon, and how he had never met any beings quite like us in all his 946 years. (Gnomes live a LONG time) He bellowed about the Beginning of the Time of Gnomes, and how, for thousands of years they have taken their oath to care for the gardens and lands very seriously. He passed on his knowledge about being stewards of the forests, for without forests the world would be a vast and disparaging desert. He told us always to dance when the moon is full, and never, ever forget the beauty that lives in all creatures, great and small. He then presented us with honorary necklaces that prove we are now keepers of the colonies of the gnomes that inhabit all the world. By accepting the necklace we promise to protect gnomes and fairies and the special spaces in which they live.
William and the others helped us tie the spotted mushroom necklaces around our necks. I bowed my head in loyalty when presented with mine, while Martha and Jane turned toward each other and touched each others' mushrooms while ooooohing and aaaahhhing. It was absolutely magical and I will never forget it. I will never forget the kindness that was shown to me here with the gnomes.
As a tear fell from my eye, I noticed a glimmer of light coming toward me. A very small, glistening and winged creature appraoched, carrying what appeared to me to be a snow-white feather. There was some commotion among the gnomes, some reverent mumbling, if there is such a thing. The feather brushed under my eye, softas a breeze, and scooped up my tear. It was then that I noticed the winged creature was a fairy. And the fairy wore a crown with thousands of sparkling water drops that stayed right in place. Rays of sunlight bounced off the droplets making the crown more dazzling than all the diamonds in the world. She wore a white dress that floated like milkweed down in the calm air. Could it be the Queen of Trestlewood? She took my tear, then, and sprinkled it onto the tree, announcing that my sadness wasn't for naught....that tears, though wrought from emotion, were for cleansing, healing, and sometimes happiness. MY tear would nurture that tree, help quench its thirst, make it stronger. This filled me with such wonder, for I had never thought of tears in that way.We were all so proud of our necklaces, but more than that, we were proud to be honorary members of the Colony of Gnomes.
There was much dancing after that. More fairies arrived and they brought their tiny flutes and violins. The sounds were very high pitched, which really made Henry howl at times. He tried to be on his best behavior, but sometimes a dog is just a dog.
It was an exhausting day, but in a good way. New friends and old friends that were still pretty new, as I haven't been in existence very long myself. As Martha, Jane, Henry and I all lay tucked into our bed that night I couldn't help but think. I was thinking of all the fun I've had, and how kind everyone has been to me since I arrived in Little Rock. I thought of April, mostly, and how I would miss her. I've never known anyone like her. My maker is a nice person, and I love her, but April's soul emanates from her wherever she goes. If a human could glow like a firefly, it would be her. As I thought about her I wanted to see her. I knew it was the middle of the night, but I scurried into her room and woke her up. Without even asking she got up and took my hand. We went into the kitchen and she sat me in front of the window with a gnome cookie. She had a cookie too, and we sat in silence but deep in thought. I smiled at her and I think she saw.

Until next time. When I'll be home again.


Valerie said...

I want to thank from the bottom of my heart my dear friend April, who took Caruthers into her home and showed him a wonderful time for a month. She staged and took all the photos from the Little Rock adventure, and she did a most amazing job! Her photos are magical and make me feel like I'm in another world. She is a gifted puppet maker, puppeteer, and an all around amazing person! I'm happy and honored to know her. : )

DollZandThingZ said...

What a beautiful story! Dear, sweet Caruthers!

I agree...April is all you said. What creativity...what talent..what imagination...and what a good heart!

April said...

Oh my......
How to put into words what you feel in your's not easy. I read Caruthers' post this morning and was so overwhelmed I couldn't respond. I carried the words with me throughout the day. It's not everyday a monster tells you that you "Glow like a firefly." The beautiful Queen of Trestlewood certainly knows her stuff...she hovered gently near my face, once I had read Caruthers' Blog, and brushed oh so tenderly with her snow white feather.
I know you may not believe me but Caruthers is REAL! I knew it the day he arrived and I lifted him from his box and took him into my about reverence. When you look at Caruthers, you realize Real Magic. I am talking about the "Velveteen Rabbit", "Kermit the Frog", "Charlotte's Web" kind of magic.It's the combination of love and belief that can bring a gentle monster to life....why not? And Thank-you, Valerie, for granting my Wish! You have given me "Once Upon A Time" with opportunities and adventures and fun. I will miss Caruthers desperately (Maybe this sounds silly to most of you... but you just don't know. You haven't held him and hugged him like I have. If ever you do, you will understand.) He will be going home with more than he started with- new friends and new tales to tell. And more understanding of how it is to feel Bittersweet.

Vintage Fairy Tales Rebecka said...

After reading this...
I feel I need April in my life!
I want to be served gnome cookies in the middle of the night, and I need someone who holds my hand and explains all the bitter sweet feelings that are pumping in my poor body.
April, where are you?