Pink Rosé Dogwood Tree Blossoms
For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. ~ Luke 8:17
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. ~ John 3:8
A few days ago, on the windy Post Feast, we took three (still amazingly fresh) floral Pentecost bouquets out to the cemetery.
The grassy gravesites were dotted with mantles of snow-white daisies and great golden dollops of buttercups. Purply-blue fields of floral confetti tangled with clover… and as quail, ravens and sparrows – scooted, soared and flitted nearby, the last line of the Creed came to mind: I look for the Resurrection of the dead, and the Life of the age to come.
We stood where past, present and future are tightly entwined, for… He shall come again with glory, to judge the living and the dead; Whose Kingdom shall have no end…
Off to the side, and distracting my reverie, a pink dogwood tree’s blossomed boughs thrashed wildly to and fro in the gusty winds. Narrowing my eyes thoughtfully at it, I noted it was not at all like its more staid and demure counterpart… the white-flowered Pacific dogwood growing beside our church.
Once, during an Archbishop’s past parish visit and upon noticing the young dogwood sapling (official flower of BC, Canada) newly planted beside our church, he recounted how the dogwood tree had a long, Christian-themed history.
While some Biblical scholars assert Christ was crucified on a dogwood tree’s Cross, Orthodox Church tradition conveys that the Cross was made from three different types of wood: cedar, pine and cypress. Regardless, and depending on the country, dogwoods are often found planted on church grounds.
I’d like to share this unknown poet’s sweet poem called:
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.”
Surprisingly, there are at least 60 species of Dogwood (Cornus) Trees, and they grow quite quickly. In Europe, Dogwood Trees were known as Whipple Trees. The origin of of the name Dogwood comes from the Scandinavian word dag meaning skewer, because the hardwood from this plant was traditionally used to make dags (daggers). Besides being used medicinally, it was used to fashion archery bows, and continues being used in woodworking today.
Dogwood flowers represent durability and ability to withstand various challenges in life. The white dogwood in particular, is symbolic of rebirth, purity and faith… Reminding us of Christ’s Holy Resurrection and the beginning of a new Life in Him.
I look for the Resurrection of the dead, and the Life of the age to come.
The end part of the Creed reminds us death is not the end.
It’s a road we’ll all travel someday, and as Christians we look forward to beyond death, the resurrection of the dead, and life with God; Whose Kingdom shall have no end.
Which of course, is part of an even greater Mystery!