The dogwood is associated by legend with the crucifixion: the cross and the crown of thorns in the center.
When I was a child, my mother had some trees planted, and one that survived for several decades was My Dogwood. As I understand it, I followed the workmen around and asked questions and generally got in the way. But, they planted my dogwood. And it grew and thrived and looked out over the hill that was our front yard. It was My Dogwood.
We moved but my grandmother lived in that house. And, I can remember, even as a teenager and a 20-something going to visit my dogwood. After my grandmother died, and the house was sold and moved, the tree continued to watch over the new road that ate up much of the former front yard. The lot was empty, but it stayed and kept watch.
Needless to say, when that corner property was sold off for commercial development, and my dogwood was a victim of the site work, a piece of my heart went with it. Now, instead of a graceful, aging dogwood, there sits a parking lot for a chain drug store. Ouch!
Today, I noticed that it seems every dogwood in town has bloomed. The streets are lined with the shining white blooms. The azaleas are in bloom as well, and the contrast of the brilliant pink and the white of the dogwoods is stunning.
Maybe I can remember that just as the crucifixion allowed the Resurrected Christ to be brought into the world, each spring can bring the renewal of life – the blooms, the color, the sound of the birds – and be thankful for my dogwood that helped me grow in the awareness of all of Creation’s glory.