Caretaker and the Cardinals

Caretaker and the Cardinals

AT THE CHURCH OF THE PINES the Sabbath is often a day of rest. But not always. And this beautiful winter day has found the Caretaker out among the Cardinals and Chickadees, still clearing downed trees and opening up trails from bad windstorms of the last few years. It seems an endless project. Hard work. But I don’t mind it.

Promise of a Fair Day

Promise of a Fair Day

HERE AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES, on our Minnesota stretch of the great Mississippi, the day begins with a cold, gray dawn. But along the horizon line there is the slightest pink cast, the promise of a fair day. Under the ice, Minn of the Mississippi sleeps; while above, the downstream geese, gathered at a last patch of open

December 2nd Church O’ The Pines

It is a bleak December day at the Church O’The Pines. The wind rushes and moans in the pine-tops, and they creak and groan with it. The river is all iced over and snow blows and gathers across the ice. The sky is gray and there is a damp and cutting cold. But the humble members of our congregation are

Moon-Shadows Dark

Tonight at the old cabin in the piney woods, the air is cold, the moon-shadows dark. Our nocturnal neighbors have been out and about—the Great Horned Owl vocalizing from deep in the woods. Earlier in the evening a pair of Gray Foxes cavorted about in the yard. And our pink-tailed Opossum, none too happy with the early winter weather, came

November Church O’ The Pines

HERE AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES, we have pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that this is-was-has-been the coldest, rainiest, windiest, cloudiest, crummiest Fall on record. Even Dr. Woodrow F. Stump, Woodland Psychologist, the oldest member of the congregation and resident curmudgeon, agrees. He is slightly cheered by the recent election, of which he opines that “You humans

Walk in the Woods

A walk in the October woods is good for many things; but most of all it is good for the soul. With my eye troubles I have missed many of the peak colors this fall, but this local woods still looks absolutely beautiful to me. More beautiful than ever, perhaps. And it smells beautiful. And it sounds beautiful. And it

Here is the Secret…

And here is the secret, if you have not already guessed it… The heart that gives thanks is a happy one, for we cannot feel thankful and unhappy at the same time. The more we say thanks, the more we find to be thankful for. And the more we find to be thankful for, the happier we become. We don’t

Broad Horizons…

IN EVERY JOURNEY, we encounter broad horizons and winding narrows; calm waters and challenging rapids; blue skies and fierce storms. All are navigable, it seems, with care and skill and a traveler’s mindfulness.

Snowy Day in the Pines

This Sunday morning the Church In The Pines is covered with snow. Ladled with snow. Blanketed with snow. Enveloped in snow. Winter has been here for many weeks. It has been cold for a long time. But Kiwedin, the old winter-man, does not have his full impact–the beauty that comes with the cold–until the pine boughs, the trails, the old

The Meaning of Wilderness

Radio Interviewer: “So, Douglas Wood–Author of Old Turtle–Welcome. Let me ask you a question. Reading your book, you seem to be an environmentalist; what we might call an environmental extremist. Out West here, we have a lot of land that’s been locked up in “wilderness areas” by federal government land-grabs. Can you tell me why these areas can’t be open