There are some particular things I always visualize when we sing Under the Willow. Since it has been a bit of time since we've really rehearsed the song, I thought it might be a nice refresher to dwell on some of the specific images that drive both the lyrics and music as we dust it off for the concert this weekend.
First, we can revisit our image of the child. Each of us has a completely different, personal picture of this individual. Perhaps the thing we can all recall, however, is how dear and tender that person is to us. We can ponder the beauty of life, the simplicity of childhood, the love of a mother and the promise of life after death.
Next, I believe we have all pictured the mourning mother at one time or another. It is her emotions, prayers, movements, and thoughts that we follow through the course of the song. We can remember her pain, her hope, and how it is braided into so many aspects of the music.
Last of all, I thought it would be helpful to picture the willow tree itself. What is significant about a weeping willow? Does the tree seem to share in the mother's pain, or does it shelter her with comfort and peace? How does it set the scene for the song? I found two photographs that might represent the themes of sorrow and hope expressed in Under the Willow.
Please feel free to post any comments or thoughts that cross your mind as you revisit these images and their meaning to you.