Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Stones of Life

Posted October 19, 2009

When have you made the most out of a tough situation? When have you turned stones into diamonds? Please share your stories.

I've really enjoyed getting to know Louisburg College Art Professor William Hinton. Will helped set up Friday's Blue Ridge Reunion concert and art exhibit at Louisburg. Will is a deep thinker and marvelous storyteller. He's also an accomplished potter, artist and sculptor.

Here is a short story Will Hinton crafted. It's called Stones of Life. After reading it please share your own stories. When have you turned stones into diamonds?

"During the spring of the year here in Franklin County the soil is so rocky, that in some fields, stones are actually pushed up out of the earth by the combination of freezing and thawing and spring showers. When I first moved here I met an older man who proudly showed me a wall he had built out of clearing such rubble out of his field, year after year.

Coming from the land of flat dark earth, I could only imagine how any farmer in Gates County that I knew would have spent a lot of time cussing these same stones as they dented and bent their plows and discs as they were pulled behind their tractors. But this old man saw these same stones in a different light. I have long forgotten the man's name, but his life lesson of 'when you get the land, you get the stone' is still with me.

One such stone in my life happened 16 years ago. In-between the birth of our first and second daughters my wife and I had a son who was still born. His name was Gus. If you ask my younger daughter Zoë today what she will name her son if she has one when she gets married, she will tell you this. 'Well of course daddy I'm going to name my son Gus, because if Gus had not died, I would never have been born.' True story.'"



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  • donnaaa Oct 20, 2009

    I'm sending everyone I know to your blog for this story. It is really great. For this effort, I've even given you an award, but the rule is you have to click on my blog to read about it. IF you don't visit, it will be a virtual award, but nonetheless an award. This is a great story! I have had stones in my life, but the beauty they have become has completely softened the blows. I don't even remember when they were stones instead of my rocks.

  • Riverracer8 Oct 19, 2009

    What a great story!

  • bleslie Oct 19, 2009

    Poignant story, PAINFREE! Thank you for sharing!

  • PAINFREE Oct 19, 2009

    My parents divorced when I was about twenty years old, and my world came unglued. I did not think I could be any sadder than I was during that trying time. However, as it turned out, I spent four years living with my father, getting to know him as an adult and appreciating his wonderful sense of humor and love of nature. He died at 56, after I had been married about three years. At the end of my mother's life, I had a chance to know her better as an adult, and to enjoy her great sense of humor and love of people. Had they not divorced, I doubt very seriously whether I would ever have known them and loved them for who they were, not just as my parents. Great stone story and a good reminder to look for the good in every event.

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