A little Christmas magnificence

Thank you to my friend Roz in the UK for tuning me into this rendition of one of my very favorite Christmas hymns. For some reason, it makes me cry a little (but not out of sadness!) each time I hear it. This version is from the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, ca. 1993. It’s truly beautiful. I’ve posted lyrics below for those unfamiliar with it.

Jesus Christ The Apple Tree

From Divine Hymns or Spiritual Songs,
compiled by Joshua Smith, New Hampshire, 1784

Tune by Elizabeth Poston, 1905-1987

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

To Be the Poet: Maxine Hong Kingston

I have never heard of Maxine Hong Kingston before, but a friend shared a video of her at UC Berkley’s Lunch Poems programs back in 2004. But I am totally smitten with her now that I’ve heard her speak. I am passing her along to others who, like me, may be unfamiliar with her and her work. She is an absolute delight and I hope you enjoy listening to her as much as I do. Makes me wish I lived in San Francisco again so I could attend these lunch programs.

Weekend Fun

I had a “to-do” list a mile long on Friday, but we slogged our way through it and got all but the last three things done by yesterday, despite spending Saturday night at a Christmas party. We scaled back a bit on the decorations this year, and most of the breakable stuff is either not out or put up high, but home is still warm and cozy and feeling really like Christmas. I’m officially full of holiday spirit now!