Legend of the Dogwood remembered near Easter

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, April 1, 2020

While you have been housebound these last few weeks, you have probably had to answer the phone to what is now referred to as Robo Call or telemarketing calls. I know I have.

I decided to call the number listed in an article in The Panolian several weeks ago. It was the number to the Commissioner of Public Safety Brandon Presley. His office has a designated “no call” list program.

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After you register with the no call program you should receive few to zero calls. If calls continue you can call his office to register a formal complaint and action will be taken.

I called the number and received a letter back immediately saying that I am registered beginning April 1.

The number to call is 866-622-5567. I spoke with someone in that office today. They are all working from home, per orders from the Governor, but will still register names.

This service is free, however, there are other options that charge a small monthly fee if you want to go further. After you are registered, you can send a formal complaint. Won’t it be wonderful to get only calls from someone you really want to talk to?

The wisteria are more beautiful this year than I have ever seen them. Someone attributed it to all the rain we have had lately. To break the boredom of staying home, Veedy Franklin and I took a drive in and around the Mt. Olivet and Shady Grove communities Sunday afternoon.

May Road, off of Hwy. 315 at Joiner Road, is absolutely saturated with the clusters of purple flowers from the ground to the top of the tallest pine tree. They resemble clusters of huge grapes awaiting their harvest.

Deer Creek Road is another scenic route that we took. The wisteria there was no less beautiful. The former home of the late Louise Vick (Mrs. Adria) looks just as it did in the 1950s. To the left of her yard every tree is laden from top to bottom, forming a cascade of purple the length of her whole year.

I am sure in your neighborhood they are equally as beautiful. The azaleas are beginning to bud out and bloom. Shouldn’t the dogwoods begin to bloom since they only bloom around Easter?

One of the most unique of the old legends handed down in the South is the story of the Dogwood tree. The Dogwood is a beautiful little tree that explodes in white blossoms each spring, and grows all across the South.

The legend holds that the tree was once very large like a great Oak, and because the wood was strong and sturdy it was used for many building purposes. According to the legend, it was the Dogwood tree that provided the wood for the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

The legend says that God both cursed and blessed the tree. It was cursed to forever be small and its branches were made narrow and crooked. It would never again grow large enough for the wood to be used as a cross.

It was blessed so that it would produce beautiful flowers each spring, just in time for Easter.

The petals of the Dogwood actually form the shape of a cross. They have four petals, and the middle of the flower has a tight grouping resembling a “crown of thorns.” The tips of each of the petals are indented as if they bear a nail dent.

There are even colors in the petals that bring to mind drops of blood that spilled during the Crucifixion. This is only a legend, but it might bring to mind, if only for a moment, that nature can indeed preach a sermon.

Call me if you have ideas for an article. Home phone is 662-563-1742 and text/cell number is 901-828-8824.