My mother used to share a legend about the Dogwood Tree every year at this time. Usually, on the way to or from church.
It is said the dogwood was once a very large, strong tree. It was a favorite for building material for an array of purposes, including the structure of a very strong and heavy wooden cross. The same cross Jesus had to drag on his back and hang on for hours.
Because this tree was chosen for the crucifixion, God was going to make certain this tree would be unsuitable for that purpose again. (Crucifixion was a popular form of execution of thieves and such). God’s curse made the tree the small ornamental tree we see today. It could never be used for a house, much less a crucifixion.
Legend also says this tree was blessed! Before the crucifixion, this tree had no flowers. The crucifixion changed all of that. It now blooms just about time for Easter as a reminder of the sacrifice Christ made. However, that’s still not the end of the legend!
The best part is within the flower itself. Have you ever actually looked closely at a dogwood flower? It is unique that is has only for petals. The flower looks exactly like a crucifix. The tip of the each petal has an indent, as if nails had once been driven there. Lastly, each petal also bears a hint of red stains, near the sight of the nail imprints. These stains represent the blood that Christ shed so that we may be saved.