Page 19 - Arkansas 811 Magazine 2022 Issue 1
P. 19

I knew enough to know that we weren’t just looking at trees. I replied, “Yes, it’s a dogwood.”
“Sure is pretty, don’t you think,” he asked. I nodded in agreement. He continued, “It’s really just a scrawny little tree. Look at it closer. It is surrounded by all that tall timber, but what you really notice is the dogwood.”
He wasn’t finished. “It is not the dogwood’s responsibility to provide shade. It will never be the tree that folks covet for lumber to build their homes. No, this little tree is made of finer stuff than that. The dogwood is for building hopes, dreams, and memories. From the first moment you see the mystery of the dogwood; you will remember exactly how it looked after the blooms have faded. And you’ll long for its return before it comes alive next spring.”
We quietly stood side by side and he asked me again, “Do you see it?” This time I answered, “I’m trying. Help me see it.”
He knelt down beside me, pulled his hat down, and slightly smiled. He said, “Apparently son, you don’t have to be the tallest tree in the woods to make a difference. You ARE your chance.”
“I get it,” I hugged him and smiled broadly. Dillard stood up and said, “How about some biscuits and gravy?” I picked up the pace and asked, “Can I have some molasses with mine?” He said, “Sure you can.”
The dogwood reminds some of the return of spring, others of Easter, and still others of the legend of the cross, but thanks to Dillard I’ll always see it differently than most.
I am not going to stop me...
2022, Issue 1
Arkansas 811 Magazine • 17

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