My mother-in-law told me the Legend of the Dogwood Tree once. She is a much better story-teller and hopefully I do it justice here. The legend of the Dogwood tree is this: The wood from the Dogwood tree, as the legend has it, is the wood that was used to form the cross Jesus was crucified on. The four “burnt” looking blood-red marks at the end of each petal represent the four wounds left by the nails on Jesus’ hand and feet. After Jesus’ death, this tree would never again be strong enough to hold the weight of a body. Interestingly, Dogwoods tend to grow only so high, and at a point they begin to lean over under their own weight. It is almost as if they know the weight they once carried.
This story is not biblical, just legend. Is it true? I don’t know, but I like the story. And every year when the Dogwoods bloom (right around Easter time ironically), I am reminded, in a beautiful way, that my Jesus died upon a cross so that I may enjoy the beauty this life and the next has to offer.