The Continuing Story of Sir Gnome
Sir Gnome, who graces the cover of Travel, Je T'aime, is a "gnomadic" wanderer and my trusty travel companion. At 100 years old, his life thus far has been chock full of intrigue and adventure. Given that the average gnome has a lifespan of 375 years, there is no doubt that even more exciting (and perhaps perilous) experiences await him. Sir Gnome is an accomplished writer and public speaker as well as a silver medalist swimmer (1948 Gnome Olympic Games), but he has always considered his greatest role that of ambassador of goodwill around the world. I was thrilled to learn this year that he would be gracing his public with a new book. While we have all enjoyed his delightful works of children's literature such as the cautionary tale, The Gnome and the Leprechaun, and his seminal satire, Gnomy the Nincompoop, the details of his own life remained nebulous ... until now. Sir Gnome has chosen to publish what he likes to call his MIPST (memoir-in-progress-slash-travelogue) as an ongoing series of online installments. I was privileged to read an early draft and was struck by his sense of wonder. He is far less focused on what he has learned in life than on what he has yet to know. I feel certain that readers around the world will be similarly inspired by his zest for life. So, without further ado, I humbly introduce his tale, in his words -- The Continuing Story of Sir Gnome.
- Gnome de Plume
Installment the First
Chapter 1: Here Comes the Sun
When I was born in the Cobham Woods of England beneath a sweet chestnut tree and opened my eyes for the first time, my gaze affixed itself on a single leaf. Minutes later, my focus shifted to the next leaf, then the next, and so on. I mentally traced each outline until the green gave way to blue. The great expanse of blue seemed to rouse me into a new kind of consciousness as I twisted my tiny body, reached for the ground with my hands, and crawled out into the world. My mother understood at once; I was a roamer.
Chapter 2: Mother Nature's Son
The woods were my playground. My mother did her best to indulge my every curiosity about the surrounding woodlands. She helped me dig, scavenge, swim, and treasure hunt. She taught me all she could about botany, astronomy, and biology, all the while moving, always moving. I recognize now how exhausted she must have felt by my constant need to see more, do more. We read countless books together. With each new book, my desire to explore beyond the woods of my birth intensified until, by age five, it was time.
Chapter 3: Hello, Goodbye
She always knew our time together would be short-lived. We were each about to embark on new eras in our lives. My mother needed her restful, leisurely life back, and I needed adventure. Nonetheless, our parting was bittersweet. I would never forget her cheerfulness or her sacrifice. To this day I carry the letter she gave me just before I left home:
My Little Gnome,
You've brought me immeasurable joy over the last five years. Believe it or not, I have perhaps learned from you more than you've learned from me. Reluctant as I am to see you go, I know that it must be so. I know, too, that you will achieve great things and that, no matter how far apart we are, we'll be wishing on the same bright star. So, somewhere out there, beneath the pale blue light, I'll be thinking of you, and you of me, too.
She always had such a way with words.
Installment the Second coming soon ...