Glorious collections. They’re everywhere!
Look up. Collections of brilliant leaves are coloring our maple trees, creating vivid canopies woven against summer’s backdrop of lingering green. Relishing this time of autumn’s turning, we yearn for more.
Look down. See the globes of black walnuts clustered by the road.
What is it about this season of the year that makes us notice all the collecting and coalescing going on? Perhaps in summer we move so fast in so many directions, we become too preoccupied to pause, take time and observe the panoplies before us, like our very communal squirrels at artCentral.
Oh, my! What a squirrel collection we can claim. The population keeps expanding as though our regular residents are inviting in all their cousins to help with the acorn harvest—trimming the tender ends off the oak limbs and sprinkling our campus with the fruits of their efforts, then madly chasing each other round and round tree trunks before dashing across the drive. What energy! What joie de vivre! What a sight to see!
The artCentral squirrels have their autumn collection/celebration rituals, and so do we people wherever we are. Though I’ve called other places home—Little Rock, Dallas, New York City, the Ozark wilderness, and Fayetteville, Arkansas—never have I lived in a town the size of Carthage. Never have I witnessed such a strong magnetic impulse to ritually return, collect and celebrate.
I like that I’m seeing and experiencing all this with the eyes and the curiosity of a relative newcomer willingly awed by wonder—the wonder of families and friends gathering on Saturday morning front porches and steps and old limestone curbsides for the annual Maple Leaf Festival Parade. What a collective wonder! People sharing food and warm drink; children’s hands reaching out for tossed candies; folks young and old cheering for the waving royalty and festive floats; and everyone’s heart is throbbing to the pounding beats of high stepping and dancing bands traveling around the Square and down Grand Avenue in collective celebration of Carthage and this glorious season.
Turn east on Thirteenth Street and continue to artCentral. Come celebrate our collections of fine art—glorious in every season!