Musical Musings from Linda


Is there any more glorious sight in the Fall than a tree loaded with juicy, bright red apples?  Indeed, the Shakers have used the image below, an “inspiration drawing” (1854) from Hannah Cohoon as an iconic representation of the “tree of life.” A sacred and ancient universal symbol of growth, strength and connectedness, the tree of life links heaven, earth and all that is hidden beneath the earth.  It represents wisdom, power, love and HOPE, for as the branches grow in strength from their deep rootedness, they produce fruit which gives life to the generations.

Theologians throughout history have suggested that the tree of life is a symbolic description of Jesus himself!  Deeply rooted in the love of God, he is a consistent source of nourishment for our souls, providing healing for our weary spirits…

I love that image!!

Maybe that is the reason that I instantly loved THE APPLE TREE CAROL the very first time I heard it.  The text first appeared in this country in a hymnal compiled by Joshua Smith (1784 ) — a Baptist lay minister in New Hampshire.  Then, two centuries later,
British composer Elizabeth Poston arranged it as heard by pasting this link into your browser:

Picture yourself seated under an Apple tree on a a beautiful Autumn day as you listen to these words which might have come from a page in your journal…

“The tree of life my soul hath seen, laden with fruit and always green
The trees of nature fruitless be, compared with Christ the apple tree.

His beauty doth all things excel; by faith I know but ne’er can tell
The glory which I now can see in Jesus Christ the apple tree.

For happiness I long have sought and pleasure dearly I have bought;
I missed of all, but now I see ‘tis found in Christ the apple tree.

I’m weary with my former toil, here I will sit and rest awhile;
Under the shadow I will be of Jesus Christ the apple tree.

This fruit doth make my soul to thrive, it keeps my dying faith alive;
Which makes my soul in haste to be with Jesus Christ the apple tree.“

May we all partake of that fruit for our spirits!