Geranium Farm Home         Who's Who on the Farm         The Almost Daily eMo         Subscriptions         Coming Events
Hodgepodge         More or Less Church         Ways of the World         A Few Good Writers
Gifts For Life         Pennies From Heaven         Light a Prayer Candle         Links

BEAUTY AND WARNING
April 20, 2005
 
I'm not sure we've ever had dinner out here this early in the year, Q said. He's probably right: we eat under the dogwood tree all summer and into the fall, shaded first by its white blossoms, then by its umbrella of green leaves and finally under a blazing canopy of red after the leaves have turned. But spring has been dragging its feet here this year, and not even the blossoms are out yet. We're not under the shade of anything. But that's all right. It's evening, and the sunlight slants gently across the grass. The cats are all out, each picking her way through a different section of the garden. Noodle is stalking flying insects, crouching down low to track them and then springing into the air to catch them in her teeth.

The crosses are coming, I tell Q, and he looks up at the branches above his head. Hundreds of tiny pale green packages perch at the ends of all the branches: the dogwood blossoms are folded up tightly inside them, like parachutes. We'll be away this evening and tomorrow night; when we return, the little packets will have opened, and the white blossoms will seem like lovely drifts of cloud hanging in the air.

See the crown of thorns? my father said, pointing to the circle of tiny yellow buds in the center of each blossom. And here is the blood, he said, pointing to the spot of red at the tip of each leaf. The dogwood put on those signs when Christ was crucified on a cross made from its wood, he told me, a gift from the dying Savior, who saw the tree's sorrow and shame at being used for such a purpose. Never again would dogwoods grow large enough to be used to make crosses. Henceforth they would be only for beauty. No tree is lovelier than the dogwood.

Never again. Let us make the remembrance of sorrow as beautiful as we can, let us stitch our pain into the fabric of our lives and make a design. Let beauty be a warning of how much we have to lose, and let us not shrink from remembering the beauty we have already lost. We will have pain in life anyway, beauty or no: how we will wear it is largely our choice.
Copyright © 2018 Barbara Crafton
  2016     2015     2014     2013     2012     2011     2010     2009     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004     2003  
  2016     2015     2014     2013     2012     2011     2010     2009     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004     2003  


Copyright © 2003-2018 Geranium Farm - All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any materials on this web site for any purpose
other than personal use without written consent is prohibited.

2003-2004 Golden Web Awards Winner     2003-2004 Level 2 Diamond Web Award Winner     WorldWebWebAwards.net Humanitarian Award Winner     2004 WebAward Winner for Standard of Excellence