Sunday, December 22, 2013

Once Upon a Carousel...

I believe it came attached to a gift that I received from my Grandma Joan and Grandpa Turk for Christmas
My Favorite Christmas Ornament
one year when I was still in junior high.  The frosted coating shimmered, and the ornament itself appeared delicate, almost fragile.

It was a carousel horse, one of my first.  I think this particular ornament was perhaps the catalyst to my years of collecting and drawing the magnificent creatures.
In the blink of an eye, I had acquired books about historical carousels, large posters of collectible stamps of carousels, and a number of porcelain carousel animals which played songs when you wound the keys on their wooden bases.

I think I loved carousels because of their simple amusement, hauntingly enchanted music, and the endless details and beauty of the characteristic carvings etched by hand some hundreds of years ago.  The history of the carousel is rich, getting its start as a training tool for Arabian riders dating back to the 1700's in Europe; and although there were at one time thousands of carousels in existence, there are now only hundreds.

"Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears." - Les Brown

Perhaps that was another reason why I loved carousels so much.  They were safe enough for me; a youth with many anxieties and phobias, to love, and "amusing" enough to tap the heart of my creativity.  Carousels were magical, yet practical.

Don't we all need a bit of practical magic in our lives?  

What's your favorite Christmas ornament?  Why do you think it means more to you than the other ornaments hanging on your tree?





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