This gnome lives at the Gnome Reserve in Devon, England. I visited the reserve, put on the required red hat and traipsed through the woodlands. At times I found a nook to sit back and watch other visitors. I found that people were there with their children, introducing them to a magical memory from their own childhoods. Others came to bask in a day of whimsy and escapism. Some were there on a lark and left utterly refreshed.
Gnomes are often dismissed as simple lawn ornaments or as tacky yet quirky neighborhood statements – generally by the middle classes.
But, make no mistake about it – gnomes are important.
Gnomes occupy an engaging space between worlds. They live betwixt and between, neither wholly wild, nor entirely domestic. Not quite divine, not tricksters, and certainly not heroes. They reside in the outer boundaries of the home, the forest, and the intellect. A place where the unknown reigns, yet needs to be trimmed, cared for and protected. They guard our emotional and physical borders with eclectic mischief and a drop of joy. In other words, we are protected with a smile and the smile is infectious.
Should you find yourself in England, the Gnome Reserve is a place that will allow your own mental borderlands to be refreshed and renewed.