Along the River are several bronze statues. The scenes they capture could easily been from ages past. One depicts several men of a wide range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds gathering to exchange ideas. Another is a mother stopping to chat with a vendor who is transporting some goods with a bullock cart while a young child climbs on the back to see what is happening. Still others capture the mood of yesterday’s life that was a bit slower and a lot more connected with the earth and sea.
It is fun to watch people pausing to reflect on the scenes. Some sit down beside the figures and imagine what it would be like to be part of whatever is passing though their imagination. Others touch, rub, or pose for pictures. No matter what anyone does the atmosphere is shrouded in silence; as if the figures can watch without the necessity of being alive.
There are those I know who talk as if they were bronze figures. “They hit me,” you’ll say, “but it didn’t hurt; they beat on me, but I didn’t feel a thing.” (Proverbs 23.35)
I know otherwise. The only way their words could be true is if they were dead to the world. Violence in any form hurts. It can happen with guns or physical aggression, yet it can just as easily occur through our words and expressions. People say that these do not hurt but they are only kidding themselves! Words can kill.
The irony is that the bronze artwork by the river brings a lot of comfort to those who pause for reflection. It is not as if they have any special power in or of themselves. Rather, they point our minds to things we often take for granted. The beauty and wonder found in sharing ideas, the joy in discovery, and the peace that comes with questions are answered.
You and I are alive! We have the opportunity to feel, love, and create. We can make a difference in the lives around us. Seize the moments, they are unique.