HERE AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES a soft quilt of cloud hangs over the forest. It is not an especially pretty morning—no spritely sparkles or brilliant beams of light. But it is a morning full of promise nonetheless. When the boys were little I made up a saying and repeated it often: Every day in a beautiful place is a beautiful day.
So today is a beautiful day. Our congregation is here with us at the Church, with hymns from the high loft in the pines being sung. The little Pine Siskins have been around all week, their friendly little note “Sweeeet?” filling the air. The Chickadees have seemed especially vocal, greeting me every time I come out the cabin door and seemingly inventing new little warbles and trills and bell notes to go along with the standard, “Chick-a-dee-dee-dee.” We like birds that repeat their own name as it aids in identification, and we think of it as a healthy form of self esteem rather than any sort of boasting or egotism. Except for maybe the Jays. But we appreciate their sassiness and personality.
This past week, Brother Opossum has been around often, leaving his tracks in the diminishing snow. He is shy and adds nothing to the sound of the choir, but we shy people have our roles to play as well. Everyone does, of course. Just as every day in a beautiful place is a beautiful day, every being living its life just as it should, in a place where it belongs, somehow adds to the beauty of everything. It is even a pleasure to observe the ‘Snow Fleas’ (some of the tiniest members of our congregation!) out and hopping about when a warming sun appears. So here at the Church O ‘ The Pines another January day is here—and we appreciate it, and all our neighbors who share it with us—and in the old-fashioned phrase, we wish you ‘Good Sabbath.’