Something about gnomes makes me smile–and a tiny bit creeped out. I like the concept of those mischievous little buggers. The Travelocity commercials crack me up, but my love for them goes back well before that funny gnome hit the big time.
Having never really thought about gnomes much other than laughing at how cute they are–or dastardly–I spent a few minutes online trying to figure out what the deal is with these tiny guys. I was short on time, so I couldn’t delve into the subject too deeply, but this is more about the cute factor than the history that can be traced back centuries, anyways. It is believed the original gnome was a humanoid spirit that dwells underground and can easily move through solid earth. Their image has changed over time and now is sometimes viewed as the fat cousin of fairies, elves, goblins, and various tiny mythical creatures.
Most of the modern gnomes that I’m familiar with are the garden variety gnomes found with tiny lanterns, shovels, rakes, and wheelbarrows. They tend to gardens when no one is watching and bring a sense of happiness when seeing their rosy cheeks. Modern gnomes sometimes resemble Snow White’s dwarves. As much as I like them, I only have a few. I received a couple as a gift a few years ago and placed them outside of the doghouse of our Corgi that passed away several months ago. Those are the only gnomes that make me sad to see because I remember seeing her looking up at me between the two gnomes with a look that said she wanted to get up, but was too happy or lazy to move. She had the sweetest eyes and I miss her so very much.
There is a movie, Amélie, whose title character has a father that obsesses over his garden gnome. It is worth a watch if you’ve never seen it–at least I liked it. Long story short, she performs a good deed and then decides to devote her free time to helping others. Her father always wanted to travel, but always found excuses to stay home. She decides to push him to travel by stealing his gnome and giving it to a friend that is a flight attendant to take pictures with it at foreign destinations. Amélie anonymously sends her father the pictures of the gnome seeing the world.
Before anyone thinks that I am a gnome freak, I only have a few here and there in my yard. I use restraint and prefer to smile when I see them tending to the yards of others.