LeAnne Martin
Beauty and the Beholder

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Early one morning last week, my mom and I were walking in her neighborhood. The air was fresh and cool and full of the fragrance of honeysuckle and privet. The day had not fully awakened, especially in the shady parts.

Below her and Dad’s house, a neighbor has six dogwoods that line the street on one side. Underneath the dogwoods lies on old wooden plow--for display, not for use. Over the years, as I’ve driven that stretch of road to their house, the plow has become less visible because of fading and rotting from the weather as well as the growth of the trees above. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I noticed it. I didn’t know that it has been providing a stand for a climbing rose for years.

I didn’t know, that is, until Mom said she had something to show me. We had seen it from the car the night before but this morning we would have a better view from the road. As we came close to the dogwoods, she said, grinning, “When we walk past the plow, turn around and look up into the tree.”

My eyes went from the bleached, unrecognizable plow to the top of the dogwood tree. “Wow!” I said, grinning at her. “What a show!”

The white dogwood blooms have already come and gone this spring. Now deep red flowers crown the green leafy branches. It’s a surprising contrast, since the dogwood tree already produced its white blooms in early April. Steadily over time, the climbing rose has rambled from the plow below up into the top of the tree. And the dogwood gets the honor of blooming twice.

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