AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES things look a bit different this weekend. Although the forecast says it may not last, the first snow has blanketed the ground, and the Church moat ((Mississippi River) is freezing over. Kathy and I returned last night from two events for the new book (which were fun and fantastic) and that old feeling of seclusion and peace came over us as we drove down the lane. The ironwoods still hold their russet leaves but the rest of our deciduous friends have let go. Fox tracks crisscross the forest. The great owls have been challenging the night-silence. Our dozen flying squirrels have taken several nights off in the bitter cold but we expect they will return for their peanuts tonight. More changes will come as winter eventually takes a firm hold. But our congregation is composed of hardy souls and they will not flag or falter. And in their company we are reminded daily of resilience and courage, of good cheer and simple acceptance of the challenges of life. We are grateful for them all and for a stout cabin shelter tucked into the pines, and for the pines themselves and all they represent. Wherever you find inspiration and comfort and good company, we wish you Good Sabbath.