New Year’s Sunday Morning

New Year’s Sunday Morning
AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES on this New Year’s Sunday morn, the congregation is well dressed and well behaved. Mostly. The Gray Squirrels throw their stoles carelessly over their shoulders and squall from the church rafters. The Blue Jay clan, having ridden down from the hills in the back of a ’51 half-ton Chevy, whack away on banjos and blow on jugs, hollering their name to the heavens every few seconds. This is standard behavior and is their way, and no one raises an eyebrow. The Crow tribe, sleek and black and ever-ready for mischief, elbow their way to the choicest treats laid out in Fellowship Hall.
But other Church members are more sedate. The Chickadees speak sweetly of chickadee matters while nuthatches mutter approvingly. Sparky the Cardinal flashes by in his scarlet finest, but does not indicate that any soaring solos are in store quite yet. Bunny Rabbit hops around the edge of the woods and onto the shoveled deck. The proud White Pine deacons raise their arms to the skies.
Those skies are gray and gloomy today but nary a soul complains. All seem to be caught up in the spirit and aspirations of a New Year. Optimism and good cheer abound on this special day, everyone sensing its implications. Maybe.
Or maybe it’s just another day in the forest, with food on the picnic table and holy water in the bird bath. Which is plenty good enough. The parson will ponder the larger meanings of the calendar date, while absorbing the good tidings of the congregation. All here wish you Good Sabbath!

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