Birch Church. Before the doctrines and the scriptures. Before the priests and the preachers. Before the commandments and the repeated prayers. Before the dogma and the creed. Before the structured religions and ideological systems. Before the temples and the public worship buildings. Before all of this, since the very beginning, human animals have always gone to church. Alone, riding through the white birches, this all became so very clear as I realized where I was. I was in the original church. The sunlight, radiating through the trees, like stained glass, drawing pretty lines on the snow white canvas. The silence and serenity in that moment, caressing me with it’s deep sense of peace. I just stood there, beside my bike, submerged. The setting guiding me towards truth. Not a generic golden truth. Not someone else’s truth. My own personal truth. The truth that lives deep inside of me, in my heart. Truth that you can’t find written in a book, especially one that you haven’t written. After re-mounting my bike, hunkered down over my bar and stem, each pedal stroke became my silent prayer. A communion of sorts with nature and the sheltering forest. The surfacing intimate truth my gospel. I am not religious, but I know what church feels like, and it doesn’t necessarily have to do with man-made religion. Mine was lined with white birches. Birch Church.