Transformation: what’s possible for…a tree

Yesterday afternoon, I was visiting with Kim Hinson at his shop, German Imports, in Kannapolis.

We had been talking for a good while, about a wide variety of topics: business, money, illness, health, stress, life, death, family, the past, the present, and the future.

Kim’s full of ideas and insights — always entertaining and always enlightening.

As I was leaving, about 6:15, he said, “Have you seen my tree?”

“What tree?” I asked. “That one?”

I pointed to a big tree in his front yard.

Kim’s shop is just down a hill from his house.

“No,” he said. “Hold on. You wanna see this.”

Well…we were surrounded by trees anyway. I was actually ready to go home and eat dinner, and I didn’t know where this tree was and why I would want to see it. I knew it was in the opposite direction from where I had parked my car.

But if somebody can be that excited about a tree, well, I guess I had to see the tree.

He locked up his shop and we walked up the hill and around to the back of his house.

And there was the tree.

“Oh. That tree. Who did that?”

He gave me the artist’s name but I didn’t catch it.

And after all the talking we had done earlier, he didn’t have much to say about it. It’s a two hundred year old oak that died, and now it looks like this.

And now I’m curious. Does it have a name? Whose idea was that (Kim’s, I’m sure). What is it?

But the answers to those questions are for another day.

“See you later,” he said. He had company — some folks standing in his back yard, waiting to see him. So he turned and walked past the tree in his backyard to see them.

Click here to see Kim’s tree.

And click here to see other…interesting trees.

a hint of dogwood

dogwood blossom
a hint of dogwood blossom

A rainy Sunday morning — March 27 — and seeing the first of the dogwood blossoms in my front yard.

When we first moved into this house, 24 years ago, the dogwoods gave us quite a show each year as March gave way to April.

Now, they’re old and gnarly and losing steam.  Some of the largest in the bunch have died.

Dogwoods have a short lifespan.  They live about as long as a human being.

I don’t have any grandchildren (yet), so I’m thinking about planting a few new dogwood trees, taking care of my body, and trying to live long enough to see the show again.

In the meantime, I’ll appreciate the fullness up and down the street — and continue to love and enjoy these old trees in my yard.  They’re doing the best they can.

talking street

walking by a tree
that looks like a bush
stepping into the street
a cat in the road
so still
takes a dash
to the dark grass

further down
a streetlight
tells a red car
that it’s not as young
as it used to be

and on the corner
by the house
where the coach
once lived
a stop sign stands
at attention

it’s unanimous
the neighbors I knew
as a young man
are all gone

I know the story
of each disease

I drive this old street
each day
and notice nothing

but this night
(walking a pace
that helps me
finish quicker)
it’s all brand new


a hurricane
decades ago
snapped the trunk
at roof level
now the limb-tree
at a wild angle

a ball
decades ago
snapped a finger
now the finger
still broken
at a swollen angle

soft thoughts
decades ago
disguised as hard objects
blocked vision
now the mind
in sharp angles