Monday, March 19, 2012
While in California this past week, my husband called me for a quick conversation. He casually mentioned that the dogwood trees in our yard were blooming and that my car might be covered in yellow pollen. Still very much in the presence of gorgeous southern California, I could not help but become beyond ecstatic to get home so I could see these gorgeous trees on our property. (Truth be told, I was not completely aware that we even had dogwoods considering that we moved in during Fall and the trees were barren; now I feel blessed with these gorgeous white flowers I can see through both my front and back windows.)
My first memory of dogwood was at the age of thirteen during a northern Georgia family vacation. It's probably during these formative years that my love for nature cultivated. I remember reading a little placard that described the history of the tree/flower, its distribution and full illustrations.
Four years ago, my uncle passed away somewhat unexpectedly. His funeral service was to be in North Carolina, and on the way, my mother and I stopped in South Carolina to visit J. He was then still a bachelor, living with an entertaining co-worker, and we were just breezing by for lunch. Well, the Palmetto State was just alive with spring buds -- dogwood, crepe myrtles, azaleas, magnolias -- as far as the eye could see. My mother insisted on going on a photo rampage up and down Forest Drive, and though just silly and fun at the time, it was exactly what our souls needed. The healing touch of God's work was ever present through the beauty he supplied to us on that day. Around the same time my uncle passed, J.'s maternal grandfather did too. And in the same month, one year prior to my uncle, my very best friend's father also left this world. In a season of so much hurt, the Lord really demonstrated that death occurs so life can be created. I don't know if the dogwoods affected J. as much as they did me, but every time I look at them, I feel a culmination of sadness and joy.
Two years later, when J. proposed to me in the summer, we both knew we wanted a Spring wedding. I specifically wanted those southern blooms to be present during our celebration -- both an ode to those we have lost, and a way to glorify the Lord that creates them. After much searching and many frustrations, He did provide a wonderful space for us to marry. Given the late Spring that year, and the torrential downpours days before the date, we know that it was only through Him that he made the sun shine bright and those saucer magnolias, azaleas, lavender, and dogwood bloom on our special day.
After a long red-eye flight, I arrived home this morning, feeling wiped and jet-lagged. I stepped out to see the sun shining on our very own dogwood tree, in full bloom, at the corner of our lot. All of those open buds, waving hello to me in the wind. Windows open, my feet propped up, I write this with the white flowers in the corner of my eye.
What a grand creation He has made. I shall rejoice and be glad in it!