How many of you examined my previous post carefully enough to catch a glimpse of the frog in the background? As I was marveling over the white bronze markers at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia (see previous blog), off in the distance I thought I saw a frog... but then I told myself that it was not possible. That no way, at this historic rural cemetery was there a frog amongst the monuments. So I scampered up the hill even further until I arrived upon this frog. Really. A frog.
I wish I could identify who the frog memorializes. I wish I could explain what the frog means. But all I can do is tell you the frog stood about 3 feet high, it was holding an American flag (a patriotic frog, apparently), and on it's stand were two photographs. The top one was a picture of the Beatles. On top of the photo was a candle, and 2 coins; one foreign and one a US penny.
Upon examining the back of the monument, there was a beer can jammed into the back open portion of the frog. He was aged, but not markedly so. Around the base of the frog were small stones/pebbles. The frog looked up, towards the sky.
If I were to pull out my trusty cemetery symbolism book, it would tell me that frogs are a symbol of armageddon. But somehow, that doesn't seem right! :-) This frog means a lot more then a cemetery symbolism book can tell us. This frog, in a cemetery with 18,000 Confederate Civil War dead, with US Presidents, and amazing monuments with symbols that tell us what whole communities valued, in a city that has an avenue of monuments to honor its heros, means more to someone then any of those things combined. It's not as simple as what a cemetery symbolism book can tell us. Maybe it's not for us to know.
But on a bright sunny summer day in Richmond, the frog caught my eye, and for a moment, I honored that frog and all it may symbolize.