Recently, I was asked to donate a carving for a charity auction/raffle. The focus of the fundraiser is cancer research and donations of handmade items such as knit and crocheted beanies. Choosing koi as the subject for this carving was an easy decision for me. Koi are wonderful creatures to watch and some of my favorite places in the world offer koi ponds.
According to Japanese legend if a koi succeeded in climbing the falls at a point called Dragon Gate on the Yellow River it would be transformed into a dragon. Based on that legend, it became a symbol of worldly aspiration and advancement.
More generally, the Japanese associate koi (also known as carp) with perseverance in adversity and strength of purpose. Because of its strength and determination to overcome obstacles, it stands for courage and the ability to attain high goals.
Dedicated to the memory of my mother Lue Delia Phillips (April 18, 1926 - January 25, 2005)