RED WING — Sunday morning, March 15, I thought maybe there would be the 7:30 a.m worship services at a large church nearby. I scrambled to get out the door, coffee cup still in hand. My first clue that maybe that wouldn’t be happening was the nice poem on the table outside our door. I imagined it was from the neighbor who often attends this church. Seems like the kind of thoughtful thing she would do if a more traditional mode of worship wasn’t available.

A swirl of vapor came out of my now empty coffee cup as I set it down on the rock by the downspout just outside the door to the building. It looked happy there with it’s simple brown birds design next to a couple of shiny oak leaves.

Every color of the rainbow twinked from frost in the grass along the curved sidewalk and covered the public picnic table. I knew the one church on my way had already decided to cancel gatherings, so no cars there was no surprise. But when I reached the next street corner and there were only a couple parked cars in view that seemed conclusive. The green sign taped to the window, the empty coat rack visible beyond left no doubt.

I would however disagree with the assertion that worship was canceled. Hot coffee and sparkling grass are both high on my list of personal sacraments. And then, a couple blocks walk later with blue sky and singing birds, around the corner came a beautiful collie that I’d met at a summer concert. Like they say, “Dog spelled backwards is God.”

Crossing the street to another church I knew was closed that day, I took a moment to admire the hand knit scarves in the “blessing box” and turned to notice the collie and his people were perusing the little library across the street, reminding me it's time to return a book from there that I very much enjoyed.