The Church Caretaker

EACH MORNING I WAKE UP WITH A SMILE ON MY FACE. AFTER ABOUT 5 SECONDS THE SMILE GOES AWAY AND I BEGIN TO FEEL DEPRESSED, AS I REMEMBER. I remember all the things I cannot do, all the places I cannot go, all the people I cannot see. All the income I cannot make. All the people who are sick or suffering or soon will be. All the financial hardships and health worries, for my family and for so many families. I remember the Imbecile In The White House, making everything worse. I suspect I am not the only one to awaken to these feelings.

And then I have to work through it. I remember all the things I CAN do. For myself and my family, for our little home and our woods and our world. Simple things. Small things. Important things. I remember all the people I CAN be in touch with, in so many ways. All the blessings of life that still greet me every morning, including the simple fact of BEING alive. I remember all the people who are not imbeciles, who instead of making things worse, are working creatively and mightily and heroically to make things better, for all of us. I remember that none of us are in this alone, though it is easy to feel isolated with our Social Distancing. I remember to focus on gratitude more than worry, less on the news than on the world at hand. I remember the beautiful world of nature just outside the door, that still supports and enfolds us all.

I remember the humble little members of our congregation here at the Church O’ The Pines, how so much of their daily lives is a challenge and a struggle. Yet they manage, brilliantly. They continue on, brightening the world with their colors and their songs and their abundance of life–of live-li-ness. I remember that we are all a part of the same world, caught in the same web of life, with all of its pathos and wonder and beauty. And that in this world there are inevitable times of hardship and struggle. There always have been. And then perhaps I hear Sparky The Cardinal, our fine church soloist, his song as glorious as ever. Or the sweet, friendly notes of our Chickadees. The high, wild trilling of Sandhill Cranes, far overhead. Perhaps we see the beautiful Red Fox lope through the Church Grounds, as he did yesterday, making his daily rounds through the forest. Perhaps we simply hear our own Robin in the dooryard singing, ‘cheerio, cheerio.’

All of these friends are messengers from the world of Life, reminding us of the shared glories and travails of a path that we all walk together.

As for me, the Church Caretaker… eventually I find that, somewhere along the way, when I wasn’t thinking about it, the feeling of depression has gone away. And I greet the day that greets me.

All of us here at the Church O’ The Pines wish you a fine day, and a Good Sabbath, and the very best of health and happiness.

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