THERE IS A WAY of looking at the world

THERE IS A WAY of looking at the world around us that is so old and honored, so wise, so self-evidently true, that it is almost completely at odds with the way we normally live our lives. It is a way in which we see and acknowledge Nature as being inhabited by teachers and teachings, and more than that–as a

IF ONE OWNS or inhabits a piney woods

IF ONE OWNS or inhabits a piney woods, it is incumbent upon you to go for walks in the woods. It is a sin, in fact, if you do not. At least according to the Church O’ The Pines rulebook. And when you go for a walk it is only good form to take a walking stick. An old one.

Church O’ the Pines Old Man River

AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES, it is a fine morning. Old Man River ripples and sparkles. The blue jays—not the most melodious members of the choir—nevertheless are singing their parts with gusto. The deer have been by for their morning snack in Fellowship Hall. And the chickadees, as always, chat and gossip sweetly. The Keeper of the thermostat has

Man’s Inhumanity

MAN’S INHUMANITY to man is a story as old as humanity itself. One of the places we go to find hope, respite and relief is Church. Yet we humans ostracize each other, stab and shoot each other, cut off one another’s heads and bomb one another, because of which church we attend. Here by the Mississippi River on the edge

Wonderful News! Cooper’s Hawk

WONDERFUL NEWS! On September 8, I posted the story of finding a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk stunned and injured on a sidewalk outside the Stay Fit Gym here in Sartell. Standing guard and asking folks to give the bird a wide berth, I called my friend Elaine Thrune, a wildlife rehabilitator. Elaine arrived quickly and with a bit of subterfuge and

Little Stream

LITTLE STREAM, I can still hear you calling, though my footsteps may take me far away; through the seasons you’re rising and falling; young and old each new day, you move along but you stay, and I thank you for passing my way.

Church O’ The Pines Sacred Nature

HERE AT The Church O The Pines, we make no differentiation between nature and the realm of the sacred. We believe that heaven ‘is as much under our feet as over our heads.’ We agree with the Zen poet who said, “Green trees, fragrant grasses… a place not sacred? Where?” We know that human beings are natural creatures, as much

Church O’ the Pines: Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center

THIS MORNING’S Church o’ the Pines post comes from Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center, where our ‘Writers in the Woods’ group has had a GRAND time this weekend. Sixteen souls sharing thoughts, dreams, words, feelings, fears, and hopes. Sharing their hearts with one another in the most open, caring, and generous of ways. All the while enfolded by the beauty

Church O’ The Pines in Interesting Times

THESE ARE interesting times. When we have over 40% of the country happily abandoning every value and virtue they were raised in and once believed in, instead following a Pied Piper of mayhem who says, “It’s great! You can say anything and do ANYTHING and nothing happens. Don’t be suckers! Follow me!!” When we have an entire political party of

Celebrate the Equinox

TO CELEBRATE the equinox and the arrival of fall, Kathy and I took a little day trip to view the colors and to visit the North Shore. It was a misty, foggy, windy, rainy day but the Big Lake—as always—was spectacular. The best colors? Well, right here around home. For another post…