Saturday, January 31, 2009

and then there was Obie.....

As I continued to lay on the stone path listening intently to Grayston educate me about the history of the doorways, I could hear the soft rustling of leaves behind my back. Somewhere in the back of my mind I assumed it was probably one of many squirrels or rabbits that frequent the garden..besides, I was way too intent on his narrative to pay much attention.

Suddenly I felt something whiz past my ear! (Wow! insects fly really fast when your beneath them on the ground I thought as I intently listened to Grayston continue with his lesson.) A few seconds later came another whiz! and then another! and then suddenly a small stone bounced right off the end of my nose and landed behind the overturned wheelbarrel! " That was definately NOT an insect." I mumbled outloud to Grayston.

Grayston of course had seen it coming and ducked just in time to miss it. Now I knew it wasn't thrown by any squirrels or rabbits, but it wasn't until I cautiously turned my head around that I saw another little wee being standing just behind my back.

He didn't exactly appear to be a happy one either, as he had quite the disgruntled look on his face. "Grayston... I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for you and those stones! Do YOU have any idea how uncomfortable it is standing on top of a ladder for hours?? Wet mortar dripping down my arms, and now it's dried all over my tools! I'll have to make new ones before we can continue, what were you thinking???" he demanded!

Grayston shrugged his small shoulders and then quickly turned the same shade of red as his little pointy hat. " I'm sorry Obie, I guess time got away from me. You see, I accidentally ran into Miss Cam" and then covering his mouth with his hand he whispered "You know,... the human... the one Wol is always telling us about that is building the stone path through his Garden?"

A few seconds later the little Gnome walked around the front side of me. I could see he had a small metal trowel caked in dried mortar and more down the front of his overalls and across the tops of his shoes. Even his long white beard and pointy red hat had small splotches of dried mortar, and I couldn't help but smile as I looked at him. However, with a very dignified expression he introduced himself. "I am Obie Cuzican, Official Ruler of the Kingdom of Gnomelfays from the land of Dremomyn." and clearing his thoat he added, " Acknowledged by King Wolubnauv himself in January of 2007 !!"

" Gnome ul whats?" I repeated... Oh my, dare I should even ask? Because I could tell he was quite irritated with my presence in the garden.
"Gnomelfays" he proudly repeated the word for me. " Oh? No mulf a's"..I politely said. I'd never heard the name before! I'm certain he could sense my curiosity and raising one eyebrow he proceeded to smugly correct my improper pronunciation of the word. "We are called Gnomelfays....and that is PROPERLY pronounced... KNOW....MELF...AYS. It really shouldn't be that difficult to say you know, we are part Gnome, part Elf and part Fairy. There is no 'uf' in the pronunciation thank you." and looking quite proud of himself he leaned over and smiled right at me.

Friday, January 23, 2009

So anyhow the whole idea of an actual doorway that LOOKED like a doorway with names and such really intrigued me. Grayston went on to explain that this doorway was very near and dear to his heart as it was from a portion of his own ancestral lines. He also told me there were hundreds of mini kingdoms far beneath the roots of the old oak. BUT...they could enter the Garden of Dreams ONLY if and when their individual kingdom had been acknowledged by Wol. In doing so, the King would have a special doorway constructed and hold an elaborate celebration just inside the doorway. As each inhabitant of that kingdom stepped beyond the threshold and entered the Kings Garden of Dreams they would be formally introduced as one of his loyal subjects. From that point on, they could freely roam about from kingdom to kingdom with his blessings.

The Gnomes that I had come to recognize in my own "human" garden were made of ceramics or resin, whereas the ones accumulating inside the house were made of clay or paper. That is a fact as I made most of them myself from ceramic greenware or various mediums in my art studio a few years ago. ( After the initial " gifts" began to accumulate.) I sculpted, cleaned, sanded, had them fired and then painted them as I wanted. That is a fact. That doesn't mean they aren't real, just that we as humans see only what we expect to see in general. A Fact I suppose,... everything is based on facts with us. The basic history of Gnomes as legends go, and most legends tend to be fiction rather than fact, but they tell that Gnomes live below ground and mostly come out only at night. So that sort of explains why we as humans see just statues around in the daylight. There's your "fact" again, maybe they have a sort of invisible aura we can't see?

The Garden of Dreams however was something fairly new to me as I had only been allowed entry therein for a short period. Each visit allowed for new and wondrous insights and knowledge about the kingdom as a whole. Although we had been friends for many years, the King ( whom, with his permission, I may call Wol for short ) had been very cautious about allowing a human into his special sanctuary.
Seriously, most humans could stroll through the obvious garden and never realize the Garden of Dreams was but a blink away. You definitely had to have some pretty powerful friends to be allowed on the other side of the blink. I considered myself quite fortunate to be one of them.

Now the doors into the garden were a mystery to me at this point, and here's Grayston telling me there were others?? I had seen many old knots and holes around the trunks of the mighty oaks, but only my imagination told me they were doorways. As far as an actual working door? I had only seen one so far and it was a simple stone slab resting against a smaller oak. No carvings, no names, no nothing. Heck, I hadn't even realized it was a door until I tried to move it....YIKES! was that a shocking wake-up call! But I won't go into detail on that right now. Perhaps a story for another day there.

constructing the new entryway

As Grayston described his current task at hand and the beautiful entry gateway under construction, naturally I just had to interrupt and ask..."So just how many doorways are there... and what's so special about this one anyhow?" Talk about your blank stare....sheeeesh! Grayston looked at me in total disbelief. " what's so special?? ...WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ??" he almost yelled back the question to me.

Once more I watched as he tilted that pointy red hat sideways and putting his little finger on his cheek he smiled at me. " Oh, I forget... your human aren't you? Well...let me explain if you will."
and with that Grayston began with my first history lesson about the Kingdom in general, the Garden of Dreams, the garden doorways and last, but not least... the Gnomes.

The kingdom of course was ruled by King Wolubnauv. ( that much I already knew as our friendship had endured many years ). We had been great friends since childhood and shared many great adventures and conceptual ideas in our past. But I listened intently as Grayston named the protocol of the Kings Court along with a basic who and why for each.

You see Grayston and the King went back a long ways with their friendship. He had carved many great statues that adorned the halls of the Kings Castle, and was always honored to do anything requested of him. He had after all been a member of the Kings Court for several hundred years.

The special task of building the entrygate!

Well as I mentioned I am getting up in years and often jump from one topic to another. I did however want to explain about the females just a bit before we went further into the whole explaination of what happened that day whilst laying on the stone path.

As Grayston continued to fill me in on numerous events taking place and especially surrounding his own kingdom, he also told me he had been chosen to construct "another"?? new doorway into the King's Garden of Dreams. A very special doorway requested by the King himself, and one that he was extremely honored to be constructing. It would have a wooden entry surrounded by a stone arch. At the center top of the arch would be the formal name of the mini kingdom being acknowledged into the garden. Grayston went on to explain his kingdom was known as the Land of "Dremomyn" , with the ancestral society name directly beneath. As in his case Gnomelfays. Below that a portrait of an ancestor, or ruler of the individual kingdom along with a traditional fairy escort on either side. (That was where Grayston came in, he was the stone carver for King Wolubnauv)

female Gnomes??

So I spent several months doing research and this is pretty much what I learned. Statues or real wee folk....folklore always tells that the female Gnome is seldom seen above ground. Not that she's especially shy or anything, just that she is kept pretty busy with chores and offspring beneath ground. She wears pretty drab clothing, long skirts, braided hair and a red or green hat depending on her marital status. She has basic routines , and a pretty hectic schedule she follows. Other than that, her lifestyle sounded pretty awful, about as drab and unsocial as is her clothing.

Well wonder you never saw many of them in garden settings along with the males! But that's not how MY garden is gonna stay. NO SIR! I decided then and there to get to the bottom of this folklore and welcome ANY females of the species openly in mine!

Now being human of course I'm no expert in the field of female gnomes, but I did raise four girls and I can tell you they were far from drab and my life was anything but boring at any given I certainly sympathize with the routine bit when it comes to the work involved.

What I just did NOT understand was the TOTAL lack of social activity in their life. I'm not exactly a "women’s lib" kinda gal, I don't go out for all the rallies and hoof-rah of marching and all that, but I certainly wouldn't want to spend my entire life locked away in a windowless room with nothing but endless chores either! E-gads what a life that would be!!

You see it's the male Gnome that seems to have the freedom to roam the gardens of the world.
Drinking up all the sunshine he can, smelling all the wondrous fragrances, knowing what it feels like to watch a blossom open before your eyes, ..the sheer pleasure of a blue sky in summer, the coolness of a spring rain, ..this he knows and loves as well as we humans do. But what about his wife? or Mother? or sister or even his daughter? Do they know what it feels like to experience the gifts of Mother Nature? Are they "really" content to settle for a quick description from him at the end of a long day?

Perhaps in many gardens around the world the female gnomes are still clutching to every single word uttered to them about the beauty that abounds above ground. Waiting for a visual on what that world is really like, or what it feels like to have a choice about their hair, or their clothing, ..or "gasp" a social life.

At any rate I really can't say what the females in your neck of the woods are like,... but where I come from, the females have been somewhat liberated!
It's high time they were allowed aboveground with the rest of the species! No more damp dark tunnels. NO MORE DRAB DARK SKIRTS OR LONG BRAIDED PIGTAILS...but a world full of sights and smells and color to bask in!

Truly, I know this for a fact, and can within reason even offer some proof. You just might have to bare with me a little now and then as I may repeat myself at times. ( Getting older seems to do that occassionly. )

so please, indulge me if you will...

Getting to know Grayston

My curiosity got the better of me by this time so Grayston explained to me the reason for the pointy red hat, he was a Gnome of course. A GNOME?? How silly of me not to realize that at first. Perhaps I had just been caught off guard and wasn't thinking clearly. It was quite obvious he was definitely a Gnome all right and once I caught hold of my senses and looked I could see that.

But just what exactly IS a Gnome anyhow if not a simple garden statue? I was quite confused at this point. I had seen Gnomes in gardens for as long as I could remember. In fact...I thought they were pretty tacky looking! Sure never thought I'd ever want those ugly little things in MY garden! The paint jobs were shabby and the sculptures themselves were often plaster with chips and nics all over. could they possibly enhance beautiful flowers?? And yet here I found myself with a variety of them scattered throughout the inside of my house. Mostly because a few of them resembled elfs, and I did like elfs...and then you know how one thing always leads to another. Get an elf, someone else gives you a gift to add to your collection and suddenly you realize it's not another elf, but a Gnome instead. So slowly you end up with a collection of the very things you thought you'd never have. Can't get rid of em cause they were what else can you do but scatter them about in your garden afterall.

And then I began to notice that the majority of them were all MALES! Have you ever stopped to wonder why nine times out of ten it's the male of the species we see in the gardens ? Used to make me really wonder about the females. Did they not know how to garden?? Were they not interested in flowers and such ??Were they painfully shy?? Were there only a handful of females and dozens of males? Just what was it with them anyhow? I didn't know, ..but being of a very curious nature, I decided to do some investigating a while back and find the answer.
I hope you don't mind if I speak frankly, I pretty much write the way I talk. May not be perfect or proper English, but it's me....