HERE AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES it is a gray, January day. Some might say gloomy. A layer of winter fog hangs over the frozen Church moat (Mississippi River) and the skies are leaden. But there is no hint of gloom among our congregation. The Blue Jay clan are in fine fettle (whatever a fettle actually is) and as ever delight in stirring things up. Sparky the Cardinal flashes among the pine boughs. Goldfinches gather at the fly-through feeder, and our four winter doves gather what falls to the ground from the buffet table in Fellowship Hall. All our Woodpecker species are here. And the Red-breasted Nuthatches mutter and gossip with one another. Squirrels leap and jump in the Church rafters.
But on a late January morn such as this, it is the Chickadees who bring the most cheer to our gathering place. They have now begun to sing their late winter mating song—‘Fee-Bee’—which sounds to me like, ‘Springs here!’ It’s not, of course. We have weeks to go, and more blizzards and icy winds to endure. But endure our little friends will. While reminding us all of the beauties that surround us, wherever we may be, and of the powers of perseverance and good cheer that make each day of life a gift. All here wish you Good Sabbath!
( Illustration from my book, The Thing With Feathers. All books and posters available at www.douglaswood.com)