This past weekend we hosted the Grand Opening Party (aka The Big Splash) at Small Pond Arts. We had picture-perfect weather and a tremendous turn out, welcoming about one hundred friends, family and neighbours over the course of the weekend.
Prior to the party we’d been working hard to get the place ready for visitors. The outhouse was stocked with toilet paper, there were extra blankets and pillows on hand to accommodate people sleeping on every couch and floor, and a showering ban was put in place to spare our well and septic tank from the extra demand.
Then there were the finishing touches to be put in place. I installed our custom light switch cover in the kitchen…
Milé painted our new mailbox…
Guy drew a map of our immediate environs to help visitors find their way around…
Caitlin organized the time capsule station…
We decorated crazy ginger-bat, ginger-sheep, ginger-alien etc. cookies (a Dalby sisters tradition)...
And we even dressed up our silo with a 20-foot banner bearing the emblem of a heart!
We had a number of visitors arrive on Saturday, and by Sunday, car after car was pulling into our field. People stepped from their cars bearing gifts of food and plants, wide smiles on their faces. We couldn't help but smile back; finally, we were welcoming our friends and family to our special place, our dream, our refuge: the place we call Small Pond Arts, the place that has always been intended to be shared. It was wonderful to hear people express their enthusiasm about the place, and a joy to take them on a tour around the house and farm.
For many of us, the burial of the time capsule - to be dug up 25 years hence, in 2035 - was one of the highlights of the weekend.
We decided to bury the time capsule under an arbour in a garden just beside the gallery. The weekend saw the height of lilac season, and my three sisters decorated the arbour with the fragrant purple and white flowers.
We gathered our guests in a semi-circle on one side of the arbour. Milé and I gave a dedication, and it went something like this:
MILÉ: We’d like to thank everyone for coming out today to celebrate the Grand Opening of Small Pond Arts.
KRISTA: We have friends and family who have come from all over to share this day with us and we really appreciate the effort they made to be here, and their continuing support and generosity towards us and our dream. We also have many new friends and neighbours here today. In just 3 months of living in Prince Edward County we have met so many wonderful people, which really speaks to the warm and welcoming nature of our new community.
MILÉ: Today we are burying a time capsule together. More than 30 people contributed items to the capsule, including messages to the future, artwork, photographs, jewelry, a local newspaper, and information about the Clarke family whose home this was for 87 years, and after whom Clarke Road is named.
KRISTA: We are planning to open this capsule in 25 years, in May of 2035. I know that many of us feel some anxiety when we think 25 years down the road. We wonder what our lives will be like, who will still be around and who we will have said goodbye to, and we worry about the state of our planet and the many serious problems that face us.
MILÉ: But today we bury this capsule without fear and worry. We bury it in a spirit of hope and togetherness. For us, Small Pond Arts is at its very beginning – and to begin is a beautiful thing. May this home be filled with artists who in their own way make the world a better place, may it be filled with love and laughter and creativity, and may our friends and family always feel welcome here.
At this point our guests were invited to step forward, and each threw a spade full of earth into the hole.
Milé continued: With this capsule buried until 2035, let us each pass over it, as we step together into the future.
He and I kissed, and hand in hand we stepped through the arbour. Our friends and family followed behind us, individually, as pairs, and as families.
We greeted them on the other side, welcoming them to the future with warm embraces.
Together we spent the rest of the day eating, drinking, wandering the fields and woods, meeting new people and talking to old friends. As the evening came on we sat around the campfire, waved sparklers in the air, and we danced and sang and laughed.
A final thank-you goes out to everyone who came out to celebrate with us and to those who sent their well-wishes from afar. Finally getting to share the place we love with so many of our nearest and dearest made it a very special time for us, and a weekend that we will not soon forget. If you haven't had a chance to visit yet, we hope you'll consider coming to see us really soon.
Thanks to my sister Brittany Dalby for most of the great pics in this post. I’ll be blogging in more detail later about how we put together the banner and the time capsule, just in case you want to make your own.
Until then, may you have a most pleasant future!