A SONGLINE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE
There are legends abounding at artCentral.
There is The Legend of Beautiful Maggie our ancient magnolia tree who shades our porch with kindness and the buttery scent of her blossoms. Maggie’s language is love. She responds well to gentle hugs and sweet laughter. Next year we’ll have an artCamp class that’s all about Maggie.
There’s The Legend of Mike in The Maple—our over-seer looking down upon all who enter. He makes sure the campus is always well-groomed for us and for our guests. Though modest and shy, he appears and shows his carved face when artCampers are about, for he’s drawn to their creative magic. Next year we’ll have an artCamp class that’s all about carving wood faces like Mike’s.
Now living at artCentral, The Little People are immigrants from Downunder. They’ve tunneled up and arrived by way of The Big Hole beneath the Great White Pine. They’re here with us from Australia.
They’re shy and hard to see. They only come out after dark. They like to play croquet on the lawn outback around the circular Iris Bed.
I first heard The Little People giggling and singing last autumn. David, artCentral’s Prepitor, and I are at Hyde House installing an exhibition late into the night. While taking a break David strums his guitar and sings me an Australian song, “Give me a home among the gum trees, the place that I adore...”
Suddenly we see many, many wee shining-giggling-singing faces peeking over the sill and pressed outside against the pane of the gallery window. We invite them in. “No! No!” they chorus with giggles, “We won’t come in. You must come out to us.” We do go out and learn all about The Little People at artCentral.
Though quite cheerful, The Little People are a wee bit homesick and weary of camping in The Big Hole. They yearn for a real place of their own. David declares, “I can fix this.” He does.
For their new home behind Hyde House, David paints the well house. The Little People are delighted. They jump up and down and hip shake and high five and giggle and sing and dance off to put up bunks and stuff their tiny pillows and mattresses with soft, silky pine needles. Then they move right in.
Wanting to add to our welcome, I lay out the beginning of a flagstone walk leading from their front door to Somewhere Sometime. Distracted by my gallery duties, I never finish their path. One late night The Little People come calling. Giggling they explain they’d like more than an unfinished path.
They really want a Songline for going Somewhere Sometime like the aborigines in their native Australia.
I promise, “I’ll speak to the artCampers and see what we can do.” The Little People respond with much jumping up and down and hip shaking and high-fiving and giggling and singing and dancing off to play croquet.
One fine day last week, while on their lunch break when the air is hot like Downunder, our artCampers make a Songline for The Little People of artCentral.
We’ve built a Songline for The Little People. The Little People are pleased.
Next year we’ll have an artCamp class that’s all about The Legend of The Little People.