Give me strength to be, like an apple tree
Who’s seen more winters far than me
Who bears the burden every year
Of losing all that she holds dear
Yet she stands serene, bears her hurts unseen
With leaves that grow each year as green
She reaches out to catch the sun
As if each year’s her only one.
Grant me leave to wear bright flowers in my hair
To not be so worn down by care
That I find no room to grow a bloom
Nor time to smell its sweet perfume.
Give me courage to start each year anew
To do the work I need to do
With heart and soul, unshrunk vigour
Each season let my heart grow bigger.
Let me still refuse the urge to reduce
The weight of fruit I can produce
Nor be discouraged when we’ve found
Last year’s crop rot on the ground.
May I not count cost, nor believe hope lost
Not even in the thickest frost.
Let’s send down ever deeper roots
And nurture still the tender shoots.
May I never cease to care, just be there
Offer shelter, food, clean air
To all the souls who pass that way.
No charge, no price, no bill to pay.
Let me see my life not as any race
But just continue at my pace
Not running to the finish line:
Enjoy the only life that’s mine.
May my arms be somewhere nests are made
My shadow be a gentle shade
May children laugh and climb on me.
Let me be like a wise old tree.