The Huntington is Wonderland; August 2, 2011

In the midst of the Greek gods in the North Vista, the sprinklers highlighted the magnificence of nature’s own sculptor, the orb weaver. There, in the very center, was a golden spider, gleaming bright yellow in the sunshine.  Touched by Midas?
The children were out again, this time a slightly older group – eleven to twelve years perhaps? Their theater instructors wanted them to observe how artists tell a story through body positions. They each chose a statue and imitated its gesture. Then they critiqued one another and when each pose was accurate, the teacher recorded it with a photo. It was a wonderful lesson; how fortunate those children are to spend their summer at The Huntington. Their laughter and excited squeals make a great backdrop of sound.
The twelve year olds drifted away and their conversations were drowned out by high giggles, which got louder and louder. I turned, and one of the gigglers was standing right behind me, a boy of five or six. There was a swarm of them, twenty-five or thirty it seemed, many of them wet from the sprinklers. When I commented on this, they were quite pleased with themselves. And then they floated away, too, reminding me of thistle seeds in the wind or tiny birds that flit from bush to bush.
The afternoon got muggy and heavy. Sure enough, we had a sprinkle of rain. As it got later, the sounds of sprinklers and children were replaced by the sharp cheeps of little wrens, out foraging after the rain. They stopped to scold me, all bundles of high energy decorated with delicate, lacy brown patterns.
Such a magic place, punctuated by the bizarre and frenzied activity of the freeways getting there and back.

Comments

One Response to “The Huntington is Wonderland; August 2, 2011”
  1. Paul Heilemann says:

    Interesting how the children – students at that – continue to play a role in your life. Surrounded by the sculpted nature of the museum setting, children are not your definition of a distraction.

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