IT HAS BEEN A FROSTY, frosty week here at the Church O’ The Pines. Meteorologists tell us this stagnant air is ‘dirty’. But here in the forest, far from the city, it doesn’t feel dirty.
Rather, in the context of horror and humiliation on the national scene, as we sort out who is a patriot and who an insurrectionist, as we ponder the meaning of ‘we the people’ and ‘a more perfect Union,’ as we grapple with the immeasurable harm caused by howling mobs who believe it’s ‘their country’ and they can do what they like and take what they want, the frosty woods feels like a sparkling refuge. Which it is. The chickadees sing their little ‘tickle-ee-dee, tickle-ee-doo,’ and the cardinals flash by in their scarlet plumage. And the sparking frost against the dark trunks says there is still beauty in this world, and in this country, and it is ours to remake and rediscover, even as we purge the foul and dirty elements that stain it. A walk in the woods is good for many things, and foremost among them is the soul. The entire nation could use a good walk in the woods.