Church of the Island

AT THE CHURCH OF THE ISLAND, HARD ON THE CANADIAN BORDER, crows and ravens serve as alarm clocks and alert the congregation to the rising of the sun. It continues its journey, having already ascended over Fire Island and Montawk Point; over Manhattan and Niagara and Sault Sainte Marie; over Georgian Bay and Grand Portage, Pigeon Falls, Gunflint and Saganaga, Basswood and Lac La Croix, over Namakan and Kabetogama, and here over Ogichidakwe and Fawn Island.

The white-throats, the little killooleets, welcome the day, leaving the tracks of their songs like beads of maple syrup in the morning air. Blueberries ripen. Corydalis and harebells bloom. Sweet gale lines the rocky shore where mama merganser—the red-headed sawbill—leads her brood. The mink and marten haunt their secret shadows. A white-tail and her fawn swim across the channel to Deer Island, perhaps the young one’s first journey across the water.
It looks to be an enchanted summer day—perhaps the Caretaker will take the old canoe out to explore this often-explored, but never completely known, vicinity of the lake. Perhaps there will be an afternoon shower. Perhaps Mrs. Caretaker will decide there are chores to be done. Meanwhile, the crows and ravens, white-throats and song sparrows continue their morning hymns. And all wish you Good Sabbath.

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