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What Gnomes Know

Until recently, I didn’t believe in gnomes. My garden was a serious place, one of toil and concomitant results. I took pride in my accomplishments there, and never noticed my pride elbowing aside my joy.

During this time, I catalogued gnomes under the heading of “lawn crap”, which includes anything needing moved before mowing the lawn. I naively included gnomes with such vulgarities as lawn butts, those annoying plywood cutouts that, from a distance, are supposed to look like the bending over backside of fat people. But gnomes add a bit of whimsey to a garden. And gardening, being such serious business, needs whimsey.

So I swallowed my pride and went looking for a garden gnome. I found one, which I will move periodically to maintain the surprise necessary to puncture my pride with whimsey.

The most serious undertakings always need a tiny bit, about a gnome-sized bit, of whimsey. The calculated surprise. The unanticipated delight. What gnomes will you hide inside your next serious undertaking? Let one loose in there and almost everything will remain the same. But whatever changes might delight you when you least expect and most need delight.

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