AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES IT IS A BEAUTIFUL MORNING. But we are not there to see it as we are attending services at the Church O’ The Lake. This morning’s hymns are sung by the song sparrows and ruby-crowned kinglets, the yellow warblers, and the white-throats. Last night, on our arrival, it was those same white-throated sparrows who gave us a Saturday evening concert worth traveling five hours to hear, as they sang their high, pure, “Oh sweet Canada, Canada, Canada” over and over again—dozens of them—as we cruised slowly among the islands. Of course, some folks say they are singing “Old Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody.” Whatever the lyrics, it is a grand song.
We found that another congregation member had been busy in our absence. In the old outhouse was a large, leafy, tidy—sort of—red squirrel nest—about 3 feet by 3 feet, give or take. The leaves and sticks and bits of moss and other materials were augmented by strategically placed strips of shredded toilet paper. It was a marvelous construction. I was made aware of it when Kathy made her first trip down to the little ‘necessary place’ and I heard her—umm—exclamation. Yes, that’s what it was, an exclamation. The nest was removed and we shall await, with some trepidation, further developments. We are aware from experience that red squirrels, despite their place of honor and welcome within the Church, are sometimes vengeful. That they are clever. And persistent. Thus the trepidation.
But this morning, amid the hymns that surround us, it is hard to feel too worried, or much of anything but thankful. We wish you a Good Sabbath.