be as we Intend To Be

HERE AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES, we reside in what is in many ways a Zen Forest—where we attempt to see things As They Are, and be as we Intend To Be. In many, many ways, the Forest helps in this way of living. Lately, amid incessant attacks on our nation and foundational values, it has been difficult to

China Trip 2019 Review #4- Church in the Pines – reflections of China Visit

AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES THIS MORNING, we defer to my recent trip to China, and to an extraordinary visit to another sort of church—the legendary Shaolin Temple over the Yellow River in the mountains near Zhengzhou. Made famous by Hollywood and the David Carradine Kung Fu series, this home of Chinese Ch’an Buddhism (precursor of Zen) dates back

Preparing to Leave for a Speaking Tour of China

IT IS A BUSY DAY AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES, as one of the caretakers—me—is preparing to leave for a speaking tour of China. This requires much help from the other caretaker—Kathy—as I am not a very Organized Person.

Who Remain Steadfastly Bright-Eyed

HERE AT THE GRAND ESTATE FONDLY KNOWN AS THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES, home to Old Turtle and other literary figures, it is a misty, moisty Sunday. The temperature has swung wildly between about 48 and 52 degrees, the sky varying between gray and very gray.

The Father of Waters is Gone

HERE AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES, the Father of Waters is gone. It is hidden by a morning fog of Sherlockian dimensions. The river, gone. The far shore, gone. The silhouetted pines stand and lean against a soft, gray wall, as pictures in an art gallery. From far away, the highway sounds moan and grumble, but softly, most of

Beautiful Summer Morning

IT IS A BEAUTIFUL SUMMER MORNING at the Church O’ The Pines. Things are blooming in Kathy’s Gardens. All kinds of things. I don’t know all of their names because I specialize more in the flowers of field and forest. But I know a bunch of them are lilies–all kinds and colors. The hummingbirds are busy, and although we enjoy

Unique and Marvelous Place

Unique and Marvelous Place

THE CHURCH O THE PINES AT PINE POINT is a unique and marvelous place. And it has a history. We were hired as Caretakers by the local squirrels and bluejays 25 years ago, and have done our best to abide by and nurture the spirit of the place since then. On our arrival we did some research and learned that

Azaleas in Bloom

AT THE PINE POINT CARETAKERS’ CABIN AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES, the azaleas are in bloom. The kiwi vine is threatening to engulf the north wall. The ferns are 43 feet tall. The hummingbirds are happily humming, the wood thrush is singing his heart out, and the great crested Flycatcher is proclaiming pre-eminence over all the top of the

Weather Has Changed

Weather Has Changed

AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES the weather has changed. After returning from south Florida and its heat on Friday, we found good old Minnesota warm summer weather. Perfect for a Saturday motorcycle ride. Today we have clouds and overcast and a very cool day, having apparently missed any serious storms overnight. One notices how similar the weather of the

Grand Season

Grand Season

IT IS A GRAND SEASON AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES. As the song says, June is bustin’ out all over. The ferns are nearing chest high. The lilacs and honeysuckle are in blossom. The air smells even sweeter than usual. Our congregation is all here, the pews are full. We have a good congregation—well-intentioned and well-behaved—mostly. Of course, the