© March 10, 2011
The picture of patience, these statues keep their backs to bustling construction at the former Pony League baseball fields on Kempsville Road.
Cheers of the crowd and errant baseballs once rained upon them in this Buddhist meditative garden, but city improvements put change in the air. The ball fields have been razed to make way for a park and storm water pond; the statues will wait by the water.
Following the contentious loss of a Pungo residence, used as a place of worship, Buddhist monk T. Chuc Thanh and the Dong Hung Temple statues returned to Kempsville to await a new location.
Amitabha Buddha is one of a trio of figures, peering peacefully beyond the excavator’s reach.
“Amitabha is the bodhisattva associated with the pure land, with awakening,” Thanh explained. “People ask us where our temple is. I tell them, ‘It is in the sky! We are waiting for it to land.’ ”