Very Well Then

Contradicting myself, always contradicting myself

When the Dogwoods Bloom…

Posted by verywellthen on April 25, 2010


Dogwood

There is that video (and photo) effect – where everything is in black and white, except for one thing, which becomes the center of all attention because it has color.   I think the first time I saw the effect was in the 80’s in an Elton John MTV video (Sad Songs Say So Much, perhaps?).

That’s how I see the world in late April in my neighborhood (Blue Heron Land — a.k.a. the Pacific Northwest of North America).

The only thing in color in my late-April world are the dogwoods.  Everything, at least to me, might as well be black and white.

Walk down any block in town, you’ll see one or two in glorious bloom and it’s the only thing that visually matters.  I’m sure there are other beautiful things happening – just a few weeks ago the cherry and plum blossoms had caught my fancy.  Perhaps they’re still around, but I only have eyes for dogwoods.

I’ve heard a seasonal interconnection attributed to the regional Native American tribes: “the salmon run when the dogwoods bloom.”

(Using the advanced anthropology tool of “Google”  — I’m not able to attribute the saying with any certainty.  But I’ll bet in the old days, local indigenous types without MTV and Elton John wouldn’t miss noticing the dogwoods nor fail to link the timing to their most important food supply.]

I’ve moved around enough in my life to know that every relocation is both a door to soul-invigorating experiences and a painful uprooting.   When my eyes first focused on the scene-stealing dogwoods a few weeks ago, I knew that the spring runs of salmon would be in the river.    The next time I crossed a bridge, I looked down and saw the fleet of local fishermen in the aluminum boats — confirming the connection of tree to fish.    Even if I was only re-making an simple connection, I smiled with pride and momentarily felt that I might be finding a sense of place.  With a new tendril of a root sprouting into this earth.

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