One of the activities I engage in everyday when possible is a walk along the Tomebamba River near my home in Cuenca, Ecuador. During this walking meditation my mind wonders along with that of the river. I love the sound of water. When the river is high, it blocks out the sounds of the city and my mind transcends to other worlds while my feet remain firmly in contact with the cobblestoned path. This path for a little while becomes a Yellow Brick Road into my own thoughts and life.
Today during my walk I am thinking about all the wonderful parks there are in this city. Except for the bus and car fumes in El Centro, Cuenca is a wonderful city to walk around. There are many city parks scattered about offering a shady spot to rest and relax. Most of the squares or parks are anchored by a church. The larger parks have fountains and all have trees and gardens. Many offer wifi until 10pm, and most important, the parks are safe.
Almost all of the parks have a statue of some war hero or politician. Parque de las Mujeres has a bronze statue of a woman carrying and towing her children along. She seems filled with resolve and fearlessness. If I were to have a statue made of me, I would want it to be similar to the statue of that woman who has no name. She is representative of the human spirit.
But I do not wish to have a statue made of me. The statues of these heroes and politicians whose names we learned in school become no more than a resting place for pigeons and their poop. A different thinking government might come into power and have the statues of former heroes and politicians destroyed. You can not find a statue or bust of Stalin in Russia, or a statue of Saddām Hussein in Iraq today although they were once the saviors of their respective countries. A different populous might judge the heroes as war criminals or judge their character based upon today’s standards and not the standard of their own time. The statue of a Confederate war hero or general might be defaced and removed, for by today’s standards he is judged to be a racist because he owned slaves, a practice accepted in his own day. Perhaps some day “Mission Accomplished” George Bush will be deemed a war criminal for lies which led a nation to an unnecessary war and all busts and statues of him will be removed. Those weapons of Mass Destruction were never found. I wonder if there is a place where fallen statues go, a statue graveyard. Who knows?
Random thoughts while I walk to The Roll of the Tomebamba.
My favorite resting spot.