Being a Dogwood


Seeing the budding of flowering dogwood trees builds a little excitement in those of us waiting to see an end to winter. Their flowering signals the end of a long, cold, winter making way for a fresh spring. Looking out my windows I scan the forest behind our house searching for the dogwoods. Just one little pop of white blooming in a quiet empty forest. Once I see it, I know, the cold dark days are ending and warmth will soon be here.

Ever have one of those days where you knew you needed to be somewhere specific? I had one of those days today. On my mind was a particular friend who is so dear to me and one I miss greatly. On my way inside the grocery store a woman passed by reminding me of my sweet friend. I made a note to drop her a line later to see how she is doing. I continued on my way around the store constantly forgetting to get things on my list. (That store changed its layout again making me all kinds of confused.) As I made my way near the floristry there she was. My friend! Her beautiful smile right there behind a mask! A wonderful and needed surprise. A great feeling of joy. Oh that is how our children feel when they see their friends how easy it is for us adult to forget to keep that joy alive. I thoroughly enjoyed our visit surrounded by a “garden” of beautiful flowers!! While I could still be there happily sharing conversation with my friend our little “garden” visit was just what I needed today. Being the dogwood tree in a forest of ghostly trees was a piece of hope that needed to be seen. These are the precious gifts of life. Those sweet moments where you can gather with a beloved friend and bring cheerfulness to each other’s day. How have you refilled the love in your heart today?

Since dogwoods are on my mind I wanted to share a little more about some folklore. Dogwood Trees have been connected to Christianity for years. It is said that Jesus' cross was made from the hard durable wood of a dogwood tree. Pink and dark red varieties are said to be a symbol of love and passion. The most common color of dogwood trees are white with rusty red spots. Christians have used this tree as a reminder of the Crucifixion. It makes for a great lesson to tell the story of the Crucifixion by pointing out the lone dogwood tree in a silent forest. Showing how the almost glowing white blooms with speckled with rusty red spots are reminders of our salvation. Where the perfect lamb of purity, Jesus, was sacrificed by the shedding of His blood. 

I remember my grandmother being so enchanted with these trees. She tried for years to get one to grow on her vast forested property. Each tree was short lived. It was a great disappointment considering her incredible skill in the garden. I wonder if her interest had something to do with seeing on while on a trip and then learning about their folklore. I'll never know but it is fun to imagine and wonderful to remember her delight in seeing dogwood trees. 


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