Each spring, I bring out this little painting of the dogwood sprig that was a little gift from my Dad.
My Dad was a giver. Some of my treasured memories from him remain: An oddly shaped rock riddled with holes--- another flat rock which had originally been a part of the foundation of his grandfather’s home place--- a battered coffee grinder missing the tray he had found in a barn loft. (He knew I’d liked it.) a beloved pinto pony named, Rusty-- large bouquets of multihued zinnias from his garden--- whittled wood carvings--- his quiet gentleness--- his love of hymns and all sorts of music (except the Beatles).
One April Sunday afternoon, my little family was headed back to north Missouri where my husband was stationed with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. It wasn’t quite the end of the world, however you could see it from there. We were all longing for the day we could move back to southern Missouri to be nearer family and friends.
That afternoon, as we were loading up the car, my Dad presented me with yet another gift from his giving heart. It was a little flowered sprig of the dogwood tree he and my Mother had planted in the front yard of our childhood home. The sprig had already been tenderly wrapped with wet paper towels and sealed in a plastic bag for the long journey back home.
I remember enjoying that sweet smelling dogwood sprig for several days as it rested in a little vase of water on my kitchen counter. I also realized it wouldn’t last forever. I was moved to pull out my watercolors and capture the happy moment it represented.
Decades later, this little painting still takes me back to that sunny spring afternoon. My Dad, in his quiet way, offered his gift and I gladly accepted the treasure from the giver.