Sunday visits at the cathedral with no doors

Published 7:22 am Wednesday, March 6, 2024

By Harold Brummett
Denmark Star Route

Sundays are nothing like it used to be. As a child and young man church was what the family usually did.  When my own children were little, church was very much a part of our Sunday routine. Now, a walk over the pastures will suffice. 

I stop on the hillside overlooking the highway. The dogs work seriously around the grounds looking for what their nose tells them was here just before our arrival and now hidden. 

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Wesley, a blue heeler mix finds a hollowed out armadillo and starts to roll in its remains. I threaten him with a garden hose cold-water bath and he trots away continuing to explore. Peanut the Chihuahua/ terrier mix thankfully does not discover the armadillo carcass. Peanut is already on the short list for a tub bath.

Watching the highway, I know there are individuals and families hurrying to get to church. Still, on Sundays there seems to be a pull that I need to be somewhere. Satisfied with the cathedral around me, I watch the dogs work, songbirds sing, a red-tailed hawk and her partner soar and perform wingovers calling out to one another as if to say “watch this.” 

Crows caw as they discuss our presence in their territory. There is an occasional glimpse of a squirrel peeking around a tree. The deer and coyotes are here as well, unseen but present evidenced by scat and game camera photos. The congregation is all here except for the ducks that are usually in the pond but I suppose they are off visiting. 

Cars rush by in the distance and I imagine the routine at their destination. The preacher opens with a welcome followed by a prayer. Announcements made followed by a song or two.  Prayer again, and the collection plate is passed. A special song from someone then the preacher gets up and delivers the sermon. After the message, an invitation to the altar accompanied by a sorrowful melody. A prayer and dismissal is last. 

Dismissal lasts only until the Sunday night service and then Wednesday night prayer meeting. 

Hand shaking, murmurs of polite words exchanged, and off to the races as only minutes pass before the empty parking lot returns to the domain of dust devils.   

Blue sky above, warm sunshine on my back and greening grass beneath works like a tonic from the cold of winter. Leaving the congregation to their tasks, I move to the bottom and on to the creek.

Evidence of beaver and other animal trails from the pasture discovered. Wesley wades in the creek tasting the water as he goes. Peanut watches knowing she is too short to wade. We meander back to the house just pausing for a moment on the hillside again. 

No door to open, no door to close on this cathedral.  All are welcome, even humans, anytime.