HERE AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES it is a peaceful morning. The tall pine deacons stand with their heads in the mist and the river flows by, one assumes, hidden in quilts of fog. Occasionally a floating Goldeneye decides to take to the air, wings whistling, and leaves a dark trail across the water—proving that there is indeed water there.
All this is a contrast to the wee hours of the night, when the first thunderstorm of the season came crashing, booming and rattling into the valley of the Father of Waters. Sleep was disturbed, computers unplugged, and the small and feathered members of the congregation shook their feathers in their hidey holes as lightning bolts flew. But this morning all is calm.
Church is the place to share remembrances, and today we remember a great friend of wild places in Minnesota and beyond—Martin Kellogg, who passed this last week. Martin was a quiet, gentle man of great inner strength, who was perhaps the single greatest force behind the creation of Voyageurs National Park. He served on many boards and commissions, including the MN Landscape Arboretum, Nature Conservancy, MN Parks and Trails Council, and our own Listening Point Foundation. His gentle demeanor and firm convictions etched a powerful Minnesota legacy, and are today a reminder of a time when public discourse was marked more by wisdom, care and civility than by the bad manners, bad language, and bad actions promulgated by those currently at the top of the political totem pole.
Speaking of the Listening Point Foundation, our annual Sigurd Olson Birthday Luncheon is this coming Saturday at the Town and Country Club In St. Paul. It is a grand gathering of outdoor minded friends and organizations. To learn more or reserve a seat, you can contact Steffi O’Brien at 218-365-8889.
Meanwhile, here at Church, Sparky the Cardinal is warming up. His solo will be excellent, as always. And the other members of the church choir will fill in adequately—until a few weeks from now when the Hermit Thrush arrives. Then the bird songs will touch the heavens. Good Sabbath to you!