Here in the Carolinas spring arrived and then left in huff! We had warm balmy days followed by cool, blustery weather and thunderstorms. The daffodils and early spring flowers bloomed and then blew apart in the storms. Late last week we even had frost warnings and nighttime temperatures in the 30’s. I pulled out the winter clothes again and despaired of ever wearing sandals and capris.
Saturday morning I was pulling out of my driveway on a rather cool, but sunny day and there it was! My one and only dogwood tree was in full bloom with pink blossoms silhouetted against a bright blue sky. Spring is really here! I grew up in Georgia where spring was always dogwoods and azaleas (think the Masters Golf Tournament).
My yard here is not conducive to azaleas and I have despaired over my poor little dogwood for years. But this year! This year the little tree has outdone itself. It has always been a late bloomer, but this year it will be dressed in finery for Easter.
I have pulled out my capris and unearthed my sandals. I DARE spring to leave again! I am ready for warm, sunny days with temperatures neither too hot nor too cold.
Every spring when the dogwoods bloom I think of the legend of the dogwood tree. Do you know it?
The legend has many forms, but goes something like this:
In the time of Jesus dogwood trees were the size of oak trees. The wood was so strong that a dogwood tree was chosen to be used to make Jesus’s cross. This distressed the dogwood tree. Jesus knew this and said, while nailed to the tree’s timber, “Because of your pity for me and your distress at my suffering, never again will the dogwood tree grow strong enough to be used for a cross. It will be bent and twisted.”
“As a reminder of my suffering,the blossoms of the dogwood will be in the form of a cross with two long and two short petals. The outer of edge of each petal will bear the print of nails. The center of the flower will be stained with blood and will bear a crown of thorns.”
“All who see you will remember me.”
The next time you see a dogwood tree think of the legend. Look at its crooked limbs and pay attention to the flowers.
When spring arrives each year, think on the legend of the dogwood tree and remember Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection. The resurrection which gives us new life through Him.