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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Stones of Life

Posted October 19, 2009 8:53 a.m. EDT
Updated October 19, 2009 9:01 a.m. EDT

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.'"