HERE AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES it is a fine day to be Church Caretaker. Or Parson. Of which I am evidently both. The chapel and aisles will soon be brightened by snowy drifts of Bloodroot, the blossoms now just beginning to make their appearance; and in a few weeks will be replaced with taller drifts of Trillium. We hope that blizzards and drifts of snow are now a thing of the past. It may be a foolish hope, to be sure, but hope is often foolish. We do it anyway.
Mr. Woodchuck, a moderately faithless, sometime member of the congregation (gone down his hole for 7 months at a time) is here, in his good brown suit. He does not sing on the hymns. The chipmunk is back, scampering around the rock wall, his favorite part of the church. He sometimes adds an excited series of chips, or a hollow ‘monk, monk, monk’ to the soundscape.
Our choir grows seemingly daily at this time of year, and it is a fine thing to sit on a Spring morning, on the greening grounds, and listen to the swelling chorus. It makes all things seem possible, bright and beautiful. Of course, all wait with bated breath for Sparky the Cardinal to launch into his solo. Sparky takes great pride in his grand vocal instrument—and of course pride is a sin. But no one points this out, preferring to simply enjoy the music, and hearing it—appropriately—as an anthem to Creation.
During evening services held this time of year, the Chorus Frogs and Wood Frogs sing from the wet places in the woods. The Leopard Frog, who seems to be afflicted with some sort of sleep disorder, snores more or less constantly from the marsh.
We await the return of two of our favorite singers—Little House Wren and, finest of all, Hermit Thrush, whose voice seems to echo straight from the Halls of Heaven.
For now, the Blue Jays shout and holler, reminding the Caretaker/Parson that the buffet in Fellowship Hall is in need of replenishing. All at the Church O’ The Pines wish you Good Sabbath!