Gibbous moon at the Church O’ The Pines

SOMETIMES, here at the Church O’ The Pines, when a gibbous moon dangles among the limbs of the tall timber, I can almost imagine I am camped on some old, favorite campsite, deep in the North Country wilderness. Of course, this is a favorite campsite, too; and in the times of Zebulon Pike and Schoolcraft, this, too, was wilderness. And

Church O’ The Pines this morning

THERE WAS NO POST from the Church O’ The Pines this morning, as I was visiting another sister church—the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St. Cloud. There we had a lovely reading/signing/mini-concert and visited with old and new friends. One notices that a U. U. congregation is very nearly as nice as our Church O’ The Pines group. Well, maybe just

The Father of Waters is booming

THIS MORNING AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES, the Father of Waters is booming and cracking as new river-ice forms. In this warm open winter the making of ice has seemed less common than the melting of it. With the Church thermostat turned down for the moment the sounds of winter have returned. Even with the colder temps the sun

AN INTERESTING Sunday at the Church O’ The Pines

THIS WAS AN INTERESTING Sunday at the Church O’ The Pines, as after morning services three congregation members we don’t always see showed up together. First there was a beautiful 6-point buck who scattered the squirrels and jays in Fellowship Hall. Just as he moseyed along, an 8-point buck arrived, and moments later a 10-pointer. These two proceeded, nose to

It is below-zero cold

AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES it is below-zero cold, as in 10 degrees less than no degrees at all! So Koda the Forest Kitten came out to help the parson-caretaker feed the birds. Who were all gathered in Fellowship Hall, including great numbers of pine siskins and goldfinches. We checked the holy water in the heated bird bath and

A light snow fell

AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES, a light snow fell in the night, gentle as a benediction. Barely enough to frost the old deacon pines, but the aisles and pews of the forest sanctuary are white, and one can follow the tracks of the congregation members. Of course, many are right here on a cold Sunday morning, hobnobbing in Fellowship


EVERY CHRISTMAS SEASON for the past several years I have posted this short essay. It has received quite a response—and sometimes some very interesting replies. The essay, by the way, appears in longer form in my new book, A Wild Path. But here it is as I first wrote it, and have shared it on FB in the past: APPROXIMATELY


AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES, it is a gray, drippy, rainy, foggy, gloomy but otherwise excellent day. Still, the sort of day that indoors is rather appealing. And in the Caretakers’ Cabin indoors is not a bad place to be. Especially this time of year with all of Kathy’s Christmas decorating. One of my favorite things about living in

THE WEATHER-MAKER at the Church O’ The Pines

AND THE WEATHER-MAKER at the Church O’ The Pines decreed that on this day we should have snow. Not a lot, just a dusting, but enough that it looks like December and not November. And with the addition yesterday of the cabin Christmas tree, with grandchildren on hand to help, the season is in full swing. The winds howled in

A Day For Truths

AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES, it is a day for truths. As all days are. Truth. Truth. Truth. Truth. It is repeated over and over, from every tree, every animal and bird, every cloud passing overhead, every whispering breeze. The message never varies, and never is there so much as an interruption for a lie. And one is suddenly,