My Tree

‘On each side of the river was the Tree of Life.’ Revelation 22:2

It’s not really my tree, it belongs in my neighbour’s garden at the bottom of my own garden. My garden is too small to have a tree it’s own. Yet what a comfort and joy it is to me. Trees are good for our environment but mine is good for my soul. As my garden is south-facing it also gives me some shade during the hot summer months. Because it stretches well above the ground it gives the birds a vantage point After sitting in the tree they come down and visit my garden. At this time of year the leaves are beginning to come back and soon it will be green and vibrant. By autumn the falling leaves will give nutrients to the soil below. On windy days I can judge the strength of the wind by the swaying branches. When the wind strengthens to gale force it is secure because it’s roots are deep.

As we know only too well, there were trees in the Garden of Eden. In spite of that we still have trees today, though many are being felled. In my country there was anguish when in an act of wanton destructiveness the sycamore tree in Sycamore Gap was felled. I’ve walked round that tree and used it as a destination point when walking along Hadrian’s Wall. When I was there I heard a rumour that they were growing another tree beside it for when it died of old age. Obviously that was only a rumour and it never had a chance to die of old age.


The other day I had the privilege to hear the oratorio ,’The Creation’ written by Haydn in April 1798. I think of all the oratorios this my favourite with the composer’s rhythmic and melodic harmonies bursting forth. Taking just over four minutes to perform it is based on the first few chapters of Genesis telling of the six days of creation and the time Adam and Eve spent in the Garden of Eden up to the time of the Fall.

The performance took place in the beautiful Carlisle Cathedral. The setting was magnificent, especially the famous blue and gold ceiling depicting the heavens. The atmosphere was sublime especially when the choir sang the chorus ‘The heavens are telling the glory of God, the wonders of His work.’

As I sat listening I was surrounded by the beauty of the cathedral built by the skill of man through the gifts of God and the beauty of God’s creation outside as the daylight gave way to the softer glow of the dusk.