To Our Readers

The Woods Behind our house are part of a wildlife conservation area. One day last winter, I snowshoed back through the trees to a spot that is a strangely beautiful place, set apart and protected. The huge pine trees in this grove seem to trace the sky like giant evergreen paintbrushes. The ground here is carpeted with a thick layer of pine needles. There is little undergrowth; and with the eight inches of fresh snow on top, I can actually feel the quiet on this windless day.

When you enter the grove, it's almost as though you've passed into a grand cathedral, with the vaulted blue sky as the ceiling, the towering pines as the beams a master builder has carefully positioned to hold it all together, and some long-ago fallen timber as pews for the visiting acolyte. It truly is a sanctuary from the press and pull of the modern world just beyond the forest.

February 14, 2000

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