AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES it is a Sunday morn, and the members of our humble woodland congregation—ranging from snow fleas to eagles—strive for even greater levels virtue and moral rectitude than is normally the case. Although in truth I can tell no difference. The sun has arisen in the east, as is its wont, and shines brightly on the now-thawed and refrozen corn snow. The soft drifts so amenable for snowshoeing are for now no more.
Yesterday the two church-cats—older brother Simon and Koda the Forest Kitten—came pounding on the cabin door, glancing back over their shoulders and fluffed tails toward Something or Someone in the woods that had caused great consternation. The caretaker/parson went out for a look but could find nothing, and the crunchy snow yielded no tracks. But all seems well this morning and the town-crier crows announce their arrival. The Blue Jay clan is in full voice, hollering from the church rafters. Last week’s upset over a visit from The Fox seems to have passed, and with the bright warmth of the thaw, all our members are in fine fettle—most being uncertain what a fettle is.
On this morning’s feeding rounds from the parson, a sweet Red-breasted nuthatch came down confidingly within six inches of my nose, muttered something softly and grabbed a seed. Chickadees sing their sweet, two-note mating song, and Sparky the Cardinal chips brilliantly from the balsam hollow. It is good to hear all the timeless hymns from the choir loft, and the church aisles ring with happy music. While in Fellowship Hall, coffee and donuts—and cracked corn and sunflower seeds—are consumed enthusiastically, and woodland gossip is exchanged with no less fervor.
If a church is a place to feel close to the sacredness of Life, all here feel our tall but modest green chapel is more than satisfactory. We wish you Good Sabbath wherever you find the same…