Welcome to Dragon Tree, my very own neighborhood tourist attraction. I round the bend on my morning walk and there she is, rising from the earth as if she mysteriously and mythically grew there. I just can’t help smiling at such an unexpected sight in front of someone’s house. Especially in a Pacific NW neighborhood lush with firs, cedars and pines. 
Thank you, David and Joan. The inspiration to transform his tree trunk into art comes from David’s long time fascination with dragons. And finding out that 2012 was the Year of the Dragon sealed the deal. 
Up until now my thinking was to blend into nature as best I could, with house colors copying tree trunks and no bright pink lawn chairs sitting on the patio. But this seems different somehow. Maybe I’m just burned out of sameness, but my neighbor’s playful decision gives me a moment of relief when I figure out that the child in me, and them, is not dead. Thank goodness. Smiling is such a stress reliever. The unusual makes life much more interesting, and interesting keeps those brains active, yes? 
 A dragon, of course, does not blend into the forested island I live on. That would require it to be a salmon, a whale, or an eagle that might have sat on top of this 90’ Grand Fir. Maybe my delight comes from having watched this week long process, trying to guess everyday what it was going to be as artist Jessie Groeschen slowly whittled the 10’ trunk into a fairy tale. Everyday I walk by and admonish myself, “Get out of your rut. Think outside the box more.” However, thinking outside the box means making room in the brain for new ideas, which means emptying out the mental clutter, which usually means — as always — slowing down.    
Lives natually fall into routine over the years as we do the same things over and over again. What my neighbors did with the hazardous tree in their front yard turned a lemon into lemonade, reminding me everyday to break out of my rut and spend more doing what my heart tells me instead of always doing what I did before or whatever others expect me to do. I need reminders. 
Have you done anything unusual lately?