Yesterday I enjoyed a road trip through the Ozark hills that was highlighted by beautiful bursts of white dogwoods along the hillsides and deep into the valleys. Having lived in a desert for several years, and before that on a relatively small island out in the Pacific Ocean, I had forgotten how truly amazing the dogwood trees can be.
There is an old standard poem, "The Legend of the Dogwood," that is used throughout the Ozarks to sell postcards. That poem, whose author is unknown, alleges that Christ was crucified on the wood of a dogwood tree, and that is why they are so small and twisted today - God's revenge.
But there is nothing vengeful or problematic about dogwoods. These harbingers of spring truly are a joy to behold.
This poem, by the late African-American poet, short story writer, and Congregational minister, George Marion McClellan, celebrates the beauty of the flowering dogwoods, the trees that make our Ozark hills so special - especially in the spring.
In stainless glory spreads its snowy blooms.