Symbol of the Season

Our sweet little dogwood’s survival was in question by the end of last summer’s unrelenting heat and dry spells.
By the time fall rolled around, the poor thing was clearly stressed, as evidenced by its dry, crunchy leaves that refused to drop from its brittle branches.
But much to our joy, it not only survived, it’s in full bloom and beautiful.
But something different has happened this year.
I don’t ever remember its blooms having such pronounced colored accents on the tips of its petals.
It’s quite startling, actually.
Every time I see it, I’m reminded of the Legend of the Dogwood Tree:

When Christ was on earth, the dogwood grew
To a towering size with a lovely hue.
Its branches were strong and interwoven
And for Christ’s cross its timbers were chosen.

Being distressed at the use of the wood
Christ made a promise which still holds good:
“Not ever again shall the dogwood grow
To be large enough for a tree, and so
Slender and twisted it shall always be
With cross-shaped blossoms for all to see.

The petals shall have bloodstains marked brown
And in the blossom’s center a thorny crown.
All who see it will think of me,
Nailed to a cross from a dogwood tree.
Protected and cherished this tree shall be
A reflection to all of my agony.”

Now I don’t know if any of that is true; I’m not exactly a Biblical historian.
True or otherwise, it’s a timely reminder of the season at hand and it makes me love our little dogwood even more.

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