The Dogwood Also Rises

I love to stand on a path in the woodlands in early March and look closely. As I cast my gaze out at the barren trees and the verdant pines, I find the ghostly dogwood trees staring back.

They are dwarfed by the full-grown trees surrounding them. They thrived on dappled shadows of light that fed them through the growing season. Throughout the winter, when the limited sun stripped the other trees bare, these tiny creatures clung to their beige leaves. Even though the green of summer has left their complexion, they are still hungry.

The snows are gone now. The forest floor is a spongey mass of discarded needles, last year’s debris, and this year’s life waiting to emerge from a cold primordial soup. The ghost trees wait for their ressurection and, just before Easter, it arrives.

The dogwoods cling to their anemic foliage like a parasite clings to a dying host, but there is life coming. Soon the sun will bathe these miniatures with light enough to break their fast and the leaves will fall at last.

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