I have been fascinated with elephants since I found The White Bone in Nairobi, a novel by Barbara Gowdy. It’s the story of a family of elephants over generations imagined from the point of view of the elephants as they travel the terrain of their species. The story follows the rhythms of their threatened lives while they are hunted by seekers of ivory. Joy Williams describes the novel as doing “holy work.” Since then I’ve kept reading about elephants and am drawn to their images. This weekend in New York City I discovered many animals including elephants created by children. They are sculpted in bronze and appear in a ring called the Circle of Freedom around the Peace Fountain on Amsterdam Street in the city’s upper west side.
I went there three times! Kept trying to take it in, in all it’s hugeness and the tiny sacred objects and animals surrounding the fountain.
The Peace Fountain depicts numerous symbols of good and evil with good winning, and all creatures coming under the power of peace. So here, I offer you the elephants who children created to be part of the story. I especially love the elephant who looks a bit like a pig.