Yesterday when I posted the pictures of the white flowers at my house, I left out a picture of the flowering dogwood. Actually, I don’t have one at my house or in the small garden, but there are many in our common areas here in my subdivision.
There is also a legend about the dogwood flower and since this is Easter week, this would be a good time to post it.
The story is that 2000 years ago, a tall, strong species of tree grew in the Middle East. Its thick, straight trunk was sought after by the Romans - the rulers of Jerusalem - for building crosses for executions. One day an officer of the Roman Court came to the forest and ordered the woodsmen to construct an extra large cross from the best of their trees. “Make it strong,” he said. “The King of the Jews is to be put to death.” It was soon delivered.
Shortly after the crucifixion of Jesus, the chief woodsman was alarmed to see that all those great trees had begun to whither and die. In several more years, an amazing transformation had taken place. The great oak-like dogwood trees were gone and in their place were thousands of flowering bushes with short, twisted trunks. You see, the once proud forest giant was mortally anguished. The crucified Jesus in healing pity said, “Never again will you grow large enough to be used for a cross.”
Jesus continued, saying, “Henceforth, your trunk will be thin and twisted, with white blossoms having four petals in the shape of a cross. The outer edge of each petal will show nail prints stained with red, and the center will be like a crown of thorns as a reminder to all.”