My dogwood came forth this spring branches unsymmetrical but with perfect pink blossoms to glow another day. It is close to my tiny arbor and I sit and watch it stretch in the evening sun with its flowing wavy bracts that surround tiny innocuous little yellow petals in the very center. Even the leaves with early growth have flowing lines and a pink glow. I watch new growth on the vacant side and know that in years to come, only a small scar will remain from its battle.
Thursday, May 02, 2013
Dozens of hundred-year trees have made their large and impressive farewells within the last three years in this yard. With or without a storm too many have fallen across the raven and across the lawn! Last year our little (10 foot high) dogwood faced a duel with a large tulip poplar and lost one side of itself. It looked sad and forlorn with a torn wound throughout the winter and we wondered how it would fare come spring. But like those who have faced battle and lost something precious of themselves and yet lived and gained strength, our dogwood came forth. In one version talking about this tree it says the dogwood got its name from the hard wood which the American Indian used to form "dags" or daggers and arrows and it was first called dagwood. This wood was so hard that it also was used for tool handles, wine or fruit presses, loom shuttles, mallets, butcher blocks, cutting boards and even knitting needles! Its scientific name is Cornus florida [flowered horn]. It also has inspired legends about reminding the early Christians of the Passion of the Christ with its petals forming a cross like pattern and the very tips of the bracts blood red like the piercings of the hands and feet in the crucifixion. The original American dogwoods are white with this red marking, mine is a hybrid that glows pink.