Filed under: *, 31-40. Tagged as: dogwood trees, nature, Neosho, trees.
Neosho is famous for its dogwood trees with their white and pink blooms floating like clouds down Oak Ridge Drive, starting in early spring and lasting for several beautiful weeks. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the dogwoods during the annual Dogwood Tour, and there’s even a 5k race [DOC file] to celebrate the event (who’s running it with me next time?!).
Ever since we moved to Neosho when I was 10, I loved seeing the beautiful dogwoods along with the redbuds which burst out into all their colorful glory. I don’t actually know why Neosho has so many dogwoods all around town, but it really gives this little city personality.
There is a legend about the meaning behind the dogwood tree’s flower and the twisted shape its branches grown in that I–and probably every Neoshoan–pretty much know by heart:
At the time of the crucifixion, the dogwood had reached the size of the mighty oak tree. So strong and firm was the wood that it was chosen as the timber for Jesus’ cross.
To be used for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the dogwood. While nailed upon it, Jesus sensed this, and in his compassion said, “Because of your pity for my suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used for a cross. Henceforth, it shall be slender, bent, and twisted, and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross–two long and two short petals.
“In the center of the outer edge of each petal will be the print of nails. In the center of the flower, stained with blood, will be a crown of thorns so that all who see it will remember.”
Like so many of the items on my list, dogwood trees make me happy because they are both beautiful and remind me of my childhood. Whenever I see one, wherever I am, I think of Neosho and spring days as a teenager.