I spent this beautiful sunny morning taking pictures of the spring blooms in my hometown of Mena, Arkansas. I was struck by the beauty of Mena this time of year, especially given that one year ago the town was devastated by a tornado. Even though Mena has changed a lot because of last years tornado, springtime brings a renewal that is refreshing.
The wisteria is in bloom around town. Wisteria is such a beautiful flower to come from such twisted vines. They seem so exotic.
When the redbud trees bloom I feel that spring is really here. I look forward to their blooms each year. This year the redbuds have been simply beautiful.
The most famous blooming tree in our area is the dogwood. With it's big showy flowers the dogwood is beautiful. There is a legend about the dogwood tree being the wood used for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Even though the legend is not true (the dogwood does not grow in Palestine) it is an interesting story. The legend says that Christ caused the flowers of the dogwood to be a reminder of the cross on which He died. He allegedly did this by giving the flower two long and two short petals, and to have what look like nail prints on the petals to remind us that Christ suffered on the cross with nails through His hands. Even though it is just a legend, every time I see a dogwood in bloom I am reminded of what Jesus did for me. Right now there are many reminders here in Mena.
All wild dogwoods are white, but cultivated dogwoods have also been developed with pink blooms. There are many pink dogwoods around town.
Mena is basking in the glow of springtime. I am lucky to be able to live in a community that has pulled together to rebuild after last years tornado. When we are going through winter we know that spring is coming, just as Mena has gone through a winter experience, but now spring is here and Mena is beautiful.
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I was born in 1956 in Madison, Tennessee, while my parents were attending Madison College. I grew up along the Front Range in Colorado, attending schools in Longmont, Brighton, Boulder and Loveland, Colorado. Two years after graduating from Campion Academy, I married my sweetheart, Regina. We lived in Loveland, Colorado for six years before moving to Mena in western Arkansas.
I love the people of Mena and the friendly easy going way of life here. I have owned and operated my own business since moving to Mena. I enjoy the natural beauty of western Arkansas and being out of doors.
My newspaper column in The Mena Star, An Arkie’s Faith, premiered on January 7, 2016. In March 2017, I published my first book, titled An Arkie's Faith, using articles from the column.