There were no dogwood blossoms in bloom the spring that El Nino came to Tryon. It was the year that Simone came from Switzerland. I tried to explain to her how the white and pink cross shaped flowers meant that everything was alive and wonderful again. How dogwoods were the State Flower. How they normally draped the town and its foothills like a pleasant shawl, even on cool nights. Frustration came in waves as I attempted to describe something visual, sensuous, and so signature to our town's identity, to someone who would only be there for a short while, as this would be her only Spring there. The environment was not being authentic. I felt she was not truly getting to know the magic of our home in its best light, wearing its best jewelry. How can you describe something so innate to your own life experience of a place to someone where this no trace of it anywhere around you? It was almost alien. I was disappointed for her.