March 08, 2010

Dogwood walking stick

A couple of years ago I took off one afternoon with my brother on the kawasaki mule. We drove around the property out here looking for good pieces I could make walking sticks out of. I came across a beautiful dogwood tree with a strange limb poking out at an odd angle. I liked the shape of it, so I backed the kawasaki up to the tree, climbed on back and began to saw the limb off.

We continued our drive around the woods and began talking about everything that has taken place here over the years. We moved out here in 1974 or '75. My grandfather gave my father property here and he built our home. I was seven years old.

Now I'm 42 years old...

One by one my siblings got married and moved away, across the road and up the road, and next door... My grandparents have both passed away, my father has passed away, and all but one of us lives right here at the end of Doc Perry Rd.

The same type of thing is going on now, with the next generation. My niece has moved with her husband and their six year old, and another on the way, to Missouri. My nephew has moved down to Macon with his wife and two young kids.

I cut this dogwood piece right after my father passed away. Periodically I would look at it sitting in the corner behind my chair, just waiting on me. Always I would tell myself, "Not just yet." The dogwood faithfully waited, patient, knowing that everything would come around.

Change is the only thing that can be counted on in life and when it comes, it comes with a vengeance. Where just a few weeks ago there were plenty of screaming kids running to and fro about the place, now there's just James and Silas.

This is the last piece I carved before my father passed away...

I was working on it when he died. I had taken it over for him to see it when I had the face completed, yet he never got to see the finished piece. It is for sale, though reluctantly... but as I said, the only thing that can be counted on in life is change, and it is time...

When I carve something, as with anyone that creates anything, a bit of myself goes with it. I can only hope that the patient dogwood finds a good home with a family that loves as deeply as my own.

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