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The Legend of the Dogwood
Today, Grace's son and I took a trip out to the Big City With the Bright Lights. I saw a bald eagle on the trip, the second one I've seen since coming back home. Never saw any here the entire time I was growing up here, but I reckon they must be making a comeback. In the end, the wild will win. That eagle was under attack by a crow. Crows are bold little folks. They don't care what or who they jump defending their turf.

I also noticed the dogwoods in bloom, creating white clouds of flowers dotting the mountainsides within a forest only now starting to come back to life after it's winter-long slumber. It seemed appropriate, coming as it did in the dead interval between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, and given the Legend of the Dogwood.

The Legend of the Dogwood is most likely a spurious tale, created in America. Dogwoods don't grow natively in Israel. Still, it has a message for Christians at this time of year, one to remind them of the sacrifice made by Jesus on their behalf as represented in the interpretation of the markings on the dogwood flower, blooming at this time of year.

The Legend of the Dogwood

Quote:There’s nothing more majestic than a dogwood in spring, decked out with fabulous flowers! To some people, though, dogwoods hold a deeper meaning. The legend of the dogwood tree is an age-old story that tells the story of this magnificent tree and how it become the tree we know and love today.

Our story begins almost two thousand years ago in Israel. If you ventured into the forests of Israel at that time, you would have seen plenty of sturdy oaks, lofty cedars, walnut trees, and more—all of which are fine and noble trees, loved and used by carpenters.

However, one tree was prized above all others: the mighty dogwood. Back then, the dogwood lacked its distinct fruits and flowers, but it was still impressive, rising taller than any oak or cedar. Its wood was strong, hard, fine-grained, and easy to work with. It had no equal, and it was constantly in demand.

During this time, a simple carpenter was declared King of the Jews and was sentenced to death. The method of execution? Crucifixion. And the tree used to fashion the iconic wooden cross? A dogwood.

According to the legend, the dogwood felt great sorrow for the role it played in Jesus Christ’s death. While on the cross, Jesus sensed the tree’s anguish, and he decided to transform it so that it could never again be used in crucifixion. From that point on, the dogwood was no longer a tall, stately forest tree. Rather, it became a small and shrub-like tree with thin and twisted limbs.

Jesus was taken down from the cross and placed in a tomb. Three days later, he rose from the dead. At the same time, the dogwoods in the forest burst into bloom, and they continue to do so right around Easter in what is believed to be a celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.

While the dogwood tree never again took part in an execution, it’s still said to carry the marks of Jesus’ crucifixion. Its four large petals represent the cross he died upon, and each petal displays four red-tinged notches that are said to represent four nail holes. And in the center of each flower is a green cluster that is symbolic of Jesus’ crown of thorns.

That page also carries this disclaimer regarding the probable actual origin of the of the legend:

Quote:Alas, the legend of the dogwood most likely originated in the United States in the 20th century. While we know Dogwoods are not native to the Middle East, nor would they have been found growing there in Jesus’ time, this story is one to think about and ponder! Nevertheless, the legend persists, and many Christians revere the beloved dogwood as it continues to remind them of Jesus’ love and sacrifice.

Still, the legend, although most likely spurious, does serve to remind Christians of the reason for their celebrations this time of year.

I have several dogwoods on this patch, and have not noticed any of them in bloom yet, being down in this holler as they are. They will bloom, probably, in a week or two, sluggishly catching up to their brethren out on the more open mountainsides, just as their brethren on this side of the big ridge are just now catching up to their fellows on the north side of the ridge that were in bloom a week or two ago.

spring does not come to those hills all at once, it comes in fits and starts as every little hollow catches it's own rhythm.

But it does eventually come. in accord with the season and the reasons for this holiday. It ain't about rabbits.

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Diogenes was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king.

Said Aristippus, ‘If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.’ Said Diogenes, ‘Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king.’

These types of legends represent the style of persuasive 'Journalism' we see and hear in today's media.
A visual and locality reference, a thought-provoking concept acceptable to all age range and social backgrounds
and a message grounded in everyday 'paganistic' reality of the unconverted.

The Dogwood flowers at this time of the year, it is a tree and the listener at the time would be hardly in the position
to visit Israel and check to see if the Dogwood is actually native to that land. It's a fine yarn and I like it!

(A factoid I found about the Dogwood!)

The origin of the name comes from the smooth, straight twigs which were used to make butchers’ skewers.
Skewers used to be called 'dags' or 'dogs', so the name means 'skewer wood'.

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"They watch from behind complacent smiles whilst polishing their cutlery. Yet, with egg between the prongs"

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