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A Modest Garden Statue

This modest statue of Confucius has greeted me for nearly thirty years. Not sure this is a statue of Confucius, but it seems more respectful than just calling him a Chinese or Asian man. In my mind, he’s always represented the sage Chinese philosopher Confucius. He seemed to radiate peace and happiness. Years ago, he held a long-stemmed pipe. Not sure when he lost his pipe, probably on our way to North Carolina. But anyway, I digress.

Our First Meeting

I first saw the statue when my mother lived in Nokesville, Virginia. He sat at the top of her driveway, smiling a welcome to all who came to visit. His smile causes crinkles around his eyes. There, he sat in a flower bed surrounded by English ivy and petunias. Momma wasn’t particularly versed in Asian culture, but felt he was the right size for that flower bed. Besides, if he was a representation of Confucius, then there was a sage gracing her yard.

Our Travels Together

When Momma moved to Texas, the humble statue came with me to Pennsylvania. There, he graced the flower bed next to the steps leading to my back porch. There, friends and family arrived on the back porch. Cora belles with tiny pink or white bell-shaped flowers, lush green hostas, and yellow coreopsis shared space with him. Somehow, he braved the icy winters and once we saved him from a flood. After Momma’s death, gazing at him helped me find a sense of peace.

Following our move to North Carolina, he graced a few mediocre locations without complaint. For several years, he perched in my birdbath among yellow black eyed susans, red and yellow roses and lavender larkspur. Goldfinches flocking to the susans often perched on his head. Blue birds used him as a lookout spot before dipping into the birdbath’s water. I watched the exhibition show from my kitchen table, feeling content.

Our Settled Home, Finally

With our last move, I sadly discovered leaving him in the birdbath resulted in large holes forming in his base. Not surprising since we still get ice and snow in North Carolina. Seeing my dismay, my husband repaired the base, and I placed the statue on a flat stone to protect him from the weather. Promising to develop a more fitting home soon.

Finally, I worked on creating a more prominent home for this statue that’s followed me in my travels, especially since I’m not likely to move again. We made a small circle garden, within the larger flower bed, near the patio. Like the birds, he’s a loyal writing companion. I gathered stones from my yard and my husband brought home some from work. This year I added a hen and chicks plant, a succulent. Uncertain if the succulent would thrive, I also added some nasturtiums. In the future, I’ll just keep adding succulents and bits of quartz to emulate a craggy mountainside. For now, smiling his crinkly smile, he seems happy with this year’s modifications to his home.

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