Some days, you’re the pigeon. Some days, you’re the statue.

As far as snarky sayings go, this is one of the snarkiest.

Some days, you get used. You feel used. You are the target for other people’s shit. You are the one who ends up dirty, pecked, whittled down, and finally left behind while others fly away, refreshed from the time they spent resting on your heavy shoulders.

I often feel like the statue.

I am the emergency babysitter. The errand-runner. The problem-investigator. The consummate volunteer. The “Rachel, we forgot the . . .” The “Rachel, do you think we can . . .” The “Rachel, can you pick up . . .”

I mean, I volunteered to teach my daughter’s Vacation Bible School class this past summer, and I’m not even certain I believe in God!

I’m the statue for a lot of people.

And here’s why I love it.

Statues are strong.

Statues are immovable.

Statues are designed to weather. To ride out any storm. To face the winds. To survive.

If you are the statue, then you are someone’s constant. You are someone’s always. You are someone’s someone special.

Statues can support more than their share of the weight.

They are home:

Hoagy Carmichael--In Bloomington, Indiana. My home.

Hoagy Carmichael–In Bloomington, Indiana. My home.

They are luck:

Frog Baby--Ball State University

Frog Baby–Ball State University

They are powerful:

Bird Girl--Savannah

Bird Girl–Savannah

They are sacred:

Easter Island

Easter Island

They are loved:

Love--Indianapolis Museum of Art

Love–Indianapolis Museum of Art

The pigeon who roosts on the statue may poop on it. But they love the statue anyway. The statue keeps them safe. Keeps them from falling to the ground. Gives them the space they need to rejuvenate and ready themselves before the flight.

Statues protect.

Being exposed to the elements, statues do wear down, it’s true. But they only become more beautiful for the slow rounding of their corners, the gentle climb of the moss up their trunks.

And, after all, a simple rain can wash the statue. Can make it new again.

Statues are silent, but their very presence speaks volumes. The comfort and assurance of their simple “I am here. I am beaten and chipped. But still here,” reminds those who are weary that sanctuary can be found. It may be heavy and broken, but it will still stand for you. Still be here.

Yes, statues get rained on. Yes, insects nest and burrow in their crevices. Yes, they get covered with shit. Yes, the pigeons’ claws dig, and beaks peck, and the noise can be deafening.

But, remember, only the statue stands close and still enough to see the oil-slick beauty of the pigeons’ feathers.

Only the statue can hear the language of the birds, the calls of protection and love and parenting and joy.

Only the statue sees the incredible spectrum of the pigeons’ colors—grey, and beige, and white, and almost blue.

Only the statue is rewarded with these gifts. With this rainbow. With these songs and calls.

Yes, I am a statue.

And you, my dear friends, are not pigeons.

You’re doves.

And I am humbled.