168. A garden without its statue is like a sentence without its verb. ~Joseph W. Beach

Man becomes aware of the sacred because it manifests itself, shows itself,
as something wholly different from the profane.
In each case we are confronted by the same mysterious act–
the manifestation of something of a wholly different order,
a reality that does not belong to our world,
in objects that are an integral part of our natural “profane” world.
~Mircea Eliade, Romanian historian, writer, and professor


Although I dearly wish it were, the statue in the photo is not in my garden.  She is one of several scattered around our city’s Botanical Gardens.  The captivating sculpture in her quiet reverie and reverence is not unlike a “be” verb in that she expresses a state of being, and I think she does it ever so engagingly.  In fact, when I look at her, especially her bowed head, I get the feeling I’m observing someone deep in contemplative prayer.  Given that, I’m always a little reluctant at first to move in too close for fear of disturbing her petitions.  William Faulkner said that “the aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.”  How successful then was the artist who crafted this bronze “lady of the garden!”  I’ve always sensed life and movement in her, and as an admiring observer, I am moved inwardly in her presence.  Her movement is not flamboyant; instead it is more of a faint in and our movement of breath.  Another thing that fascinates me about the statue is that there is a warmth in her presence even on bitterly cold, wintry days.  It’s a kind of glowing warmth that speaks of life, holy and not in the least profane.

Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts.  Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.  Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.  ~1 Chronicles 16:9-11  ✝