Ways to Understand Easter

THERE ARE MANY WAYS to understand Easter. But perhaps the essence of it is that life is greater than death. That life overcomes death. And that at the very center of things there is a goodness that transcends evil. We are accosted by a seemingly endless variety of death and evil in our world. The rolling of tanks and the

My Childhood Hero

AS SPRING BEGINS TO STIR here in the North, as snow melts and streams awaken, as we anticipate blooming wildflowers and budding trees, my thoughts often turn to my childhood hero, my grandad. I remember walks taken and lessons learned. And I recall simple, private times spent together. Of all the 39 books I’ve written, perhaps my favorite is ‘Grandad’s

Koda is Never Been Scared

EVEN WITH A CAMERA, even if I’d been ready, I could not have caught it. Would not have been quick enough to begin to follow the black streak across the snow. It was simply too fast. Way too fast. Here’s the story. A pine limb had fallen in the yard during the last snow/ice storm. I decided it was time


SO AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES today, Parson Doug/Dad and Koda-The Forest-Kitten went out into the ‘Springtime’ weather to feed the birds. It is a daily ritual we all look forward to. We set out a bit extra because for the rest of the day the congregation are on their own, as we travel to visit grandchildren. Who also

It is Beautiful

SCENES FROM PINE POINT/Church O’ The Pines, April 1, 2023. So beautiful.… But there is ice under all that snow, and we can’t help worrying about our owls’ and foxes’ ability to hunt. About our eagles in their pine-top nest, and about doves and robins and other migrants who have returned. As for ourselves, we worry about the spring flood

Wonderful Hours with My Grandparents

wonderful hours with my grandparents

WHEN I WAS a little boy, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother and grandad. And loved every minute of it. They lived in a small house in a deep but narrow lot, on a green and leafy street in Alton, Illinois. It was my favorite place in the world. And my favorite part of my favorite place

Industrious and Smart Koda

Industrious and Smart Koda

AT THE OLD CABIN, Koda-the-Forest-Kitten, industrious and smart, has learned a new trick. Koda has long known how to get attention and tell us he wants OUT! Tearing up the laundry, scattering Mom’s desk papers onto the floor, knocking her latch-hook paraphernalia onto the floor, leaping onto and over every piece of furniture in the cabin. Just little hints that

The Invitation

Mesabi Unitarian Universalist Church

AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES, the congregation of birds, squirrels, possums, and other critters had to fend for themselves this Sunday morning, as the parson headed for Virginia, MN to visit our affiliated congregation at Mesabi Unitarian Universalist Church. They have a lovely and well-behaved membership as well, though not quite as fancy dressers as our piney woods foxes,

My Favorite Wildflower

pale pink corydalis

THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING and we are reminded of renewal. Of a green and living world. Of softness more than harshness. Of the flow of things rather than the locking down of things. Of returns and cycles and aspiring growth. Although here in the North these things have not yet arrived upon the landscape, they are on their way,

The Opossum

TODAY AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES, as the temperature climbs, one of our infrequently seen congregation members makes a welcome appearance. The opossum has a hard time dealing with the harsh realities of a Minnesota winter—perhaps not unlike human beings who now endure a national climate in which kindness, decency, and honesty have been replaced by bitter winds of