GOOD FRIDAY OR HOLY FRIDAY is remembered and honored as a reminder of many things. Of the universality of suffering, and the ubiquity of death. Of the power yet stupidity of evil. Of the feeing of hopes and expectations dashed. Of the pain of mourning. But it is also the day for Christians that symbolizes the Divine taking human form, suffering and sharing all the pain of human mortality. (The word ‘atonement’ is sometimes used—which is more deeply thought of as at-one-ment, God being at one with humanity.) And of course, Good Friday is remembered in the eventual context of hope and goodness resurrected in triumph over darkness and even death.


Most of this goes considerably over the heads of the congregation of the Church O’ The Pines. Considerably. Which is not to say they are unfamiliar with suffering. Or with death. Or even the stupidity of human evil. Although we do our best to keep that particular affliction as far removed as possible. (None of our humble members has a cell phone, participates in social media or follows cable news.) But the older deacon pines, 140 years of age or more, perhaps remember from their youth when Pine Point was logged, in breach of an agreement not to do so. And certain uses and abuses of the river continue, and occasional lapses in boating/hunting/fishing/outdoor ethics are noted.


But largely this is a refuge. In the truest sense. Yes, death and suffering are occasional visitors, but seem to be counterbalanced by life. And beauty. And growth. And a certain wild wisdom that it is a pleasure and an education to be near, and even to feel a part of. So on Good Friday as on all Fridays and all the unnamed days of the week, unnamed weeks of the year and nameless years of the millennia, goodness is accepted and celebrated here in the forest, in the midst of all the travails of life. And the river follows its ordained course to the sea. And a breeze whispers in the pine-tops. And the chickadees announce, in the midst of late winter snow and ice, their two note benediction. “Spring’s here!”

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