The dogwood outside my window at work is in full bloom. This beautiful tree practically exploded over the last week, small green buds giving way to beautiful flowers.
The tree is cradled between two buildings, my own part of ours wrapping around it in a C shape. This means the tree is sheltered, more or less on four sides and spends a good portion of the day shaded by its larger, brick neighbors.
Yesterday, Larry and I went walking in a different place than usual. On our route, we passed a dogwood out in the open, with few neighbors to keep it from the sun. I’m sure my landscape-savvy friends wouldn’t be surprised to hear that it looked a bit less healthy than my office dogwood. While it did have a few buds, a lot of the limbs still looked barren. Only time will tell, I imagine, whether it’s just too early or if those limbs didn’t make it through the winter.
I’m no tree-growing expert, and this is certainly not meant to be a lesson in dogwood planting. But those trees made me think a bit about life.
See, a lot of times, I find myself wanting to stand on my own, to be fully in the sun, and to make it clear that I need no one. I’m independent and proud of it.
But, truthfully, I’m a whole lot more like my office dogwood. If I bloom like nobody’s business, it’s thanks to the shelter and shade AND sunlight. The people who encourage me, laugh with me, and love me are a great shelter when the winds pick up. They’re a great shade when the sun shines relentlessly on a hot day. I’m thankful for them and sure hope I’m doing what I can to return the favor so they are free to bloom.