IT IS A FINE AND EXCELLENT MORNING AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES. The sun comes up over the edge of the earth as it has every morning for about 4.5 billion years. Though there was no one around to count the years for a little while there, the Father of Waters flows by (under the ice) much as it has for at least 10,000 years since the last glaciers receded.
It is Groundhog Day, which fact would probably make our groundhogs happy if they were awake to notice it. And if they cared about such things. The other members of our congregation are just getting up and about—bluejays, red squirrels, woodpeckers, fox and possum, chickadees, nuthatches, perhaps an otter gliding along the riverbank, the cottontail. It is a good group. Oh, they have their foibles, as all folks do. But nobody lies. Not a single one. (The bluejays do gossip a bit.) Nobody quakes in fear at their duties in life, or seems terrified of a ‘tweet.’ No one engages in naked hypocrisy. They seem a fairly virtuous bunch, and it is a pleasure each day to be around them—their presence, their voices, and attitudes encouraging the Parson/Caretaker himself to remember to take a measured and positive approach to the day, and to life in general. The Elders and Deacon Pines in their green robes seem bearers of good tidings and wise perspective. It feels like there will be a February thaw today, and clear skies that have been missing for about 40 days and 40 nights. The sunrise is welcome. All here wish you Good Sabbath.