The dogwoods are blooming in Brim Hollow.
I knew they would be. I had to go see them.
It was a misty morning met me a few days back as I headed to the place I love dearly. Over the years, I have gone back many times. In more recent years, most of my trips have taken place in my mind. I can be there in a minute.
On this day, I winced as I thought I might not see the sun, but I knew I would be welcomed by the dogwoods, come rain or shine.
No one has lived in Brim Hollow since the spring of 1964. It would be a lonely, forlorn place, except for the memories. Each time I visit there, the old hollow comes back alive … and so, that was the case on this day.
As I strolled up the shady lane that leads into the hollow, I was met by a cooling breeze funneled by the hills rising to my left and to my right. It was a familiar breeze, one I have encountered many times. I stopped for a moment to drink it in, afraid I might miss the hollow speaking to me.
Just ahead, I got my first glimpse of the dogwoods. High among tall, grey tree trunks, a few scattered blooms on skinny branches appeared to be reaching for the sky. Some flowers shout, “Here I am.” Those dainty blossoms seemed to whisper with a bashful shyness. I paused to admire their delicate beauty. There was more to come.
These are wild dogwoods, unlike the ones you see in yards and parks. Void of any kind of symmetry, most snake their way upward under a canopy of hardwood trees, sometimes creating two and three levels of blossoms. On this day, they were magnificent.
And then, I saw another. Standing against a backdrop of evergreen trees, this one showcased a thousand blossoms. I will look for it again in years to come.
As I ventured deeper into the hollow, dogwoods seemed to be everywhere … high on the hills and in places where I had never seen them before. Suddenly, I was caught up in a sense of wonder. That’s when the hollow came alive, and I began to recall things from years gone by.
Beyond the hen house, I remembered hens running headlong for the safety of the tree line when the shadow of a red-tailed hawk came gliding across the open ground.
The old feed barn no longer smells of mules, but the very thought of it made my nose burn.
And after 60 years, I can still remember the light in my grandfather’s eyes, and the smell of his flannel shirts, and the feel of his whiskered old beard along with my grandmother’s — made from scratch — chicken pot pie, and her crabapple jelly, and little biscuits.
The dogwoods are blooming in Brim Hollow, another testament to the resurrection.
Lord willing, I will see them again before my time is through.
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