Whatever the Outcome in November

“It matters not what be thy lot, so Love doth guide…”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Whatever the outcome
in November –
whoever gets elected –
let’s make a pact, shall we,
to continue in kindness
and in our own integrity
and in wisdom?
Let’s not let the outcome
of an election make us less
than what we are.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

the day after election

Clara Ricki Jazzy Calico

“Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

I’d been having terrible kitty yearnings. In fact, a few months ago, as I was driving home from work, I actually started tearing up as I grieved the lack of a cat in my life.

On the last day of February, 2015, I lost my calico cat, Freckle Rose. I’d found Freckle at the local Humane Society when she was just a feral little ball of fur, and she’d been a part of my life for 17 years. Losing her was really hard.

I didn’t think I’d be able to get another cat, though. In 2010 we acquired a dog – Samantha. Samantha is a Labradane. She is big and exuberant and – I imagine if you’re just a wee fluff of fur – she is kind of scary-looking. I’d been afraid that if I were to bring a kitty into my home and she came face-to-face with Sam she would instantly die of fright.

A month ago I went to this little thrift shop/library near Mom and Dad’s place to look for another pair of pants for Dad. There weren’t any clothes there, so I came out and started to look at the flowers in their nursery. This woman came up to me and asked me if I’d like to see the kitties. I think she’d been watching for just the right someone to bring to her box of furry felines.

“Kitties, you say?” asked I.

There were three of them – two calicos and an orange tabby. One of the calicos was a very rare male calico (1 in 17,000) – and the woman needed to find a special owner for that one because it might end up having serious medical problems (it has xxy chromosome disorder) – he was VERY cute, but I wanted a female short hair and I didn’t think I would be the best owner for a kitty that’s going to need special care. So I told her I’d like to take the little female, and she gave me some kitty food for her and put her in a box with holes in it and away I went.

And suddenly, as I was driving home, I came out of my kitty-trance and took stock of what I’d just done: “Oh lord. I should turn around right now and bring her back! What did I just do? Sam is going to eat this poor little thing!” But I didn’t turn around. And when I reached the half-way point between my home and the thrift shop I decided to go all the way to my house and let my husband make the decision.

When I got home Scott was sitting on the front porch. He saw me coming up the walk with the box with holes in it. “What you got there?” he asked.

“It’s a kitty. And I’ll take it back if you tell me to.” He peeked inside the box to see what I’d gotten us into THIS time. Like me, he had some trepidation about the dog.

But somehow I ended up inside the house with the kitty. I took her out of the box, and she went and sat in a space between the couch and the book case. She looked up at me and reached out a paw – and boom! I was hooked.

Scott went to bring Sam into the kitchen to see how the two of them felt about each other. Sam was all excited – she wanted to meet the kitty. The kitty was scared. But as soon as Scott held her, she settled right into his hands and looked steadily back at the dog.

I was thinking this wasn’t going to work, though – Sam was just too excited – and so I put the kitty back in the box and told Scott I was taking her back – and to my surprise, and his, I found myself sobbing.

Scott looked at me, standing there with tears running down my face, and said “We’ll make this work.”

And so we have. Sam and Clara have become friends. Clara was meant to be with us.

Behold, I present Clara (my name for her) Ricki Raccoon (Scott’s name for her) Jazzy (the sons’ name for her) Calico (my parents’ name for her)…

Here’s a youtube clip of my parents with their new grand- kitty.

It’s so nice to come home to a kitty again – to hear little paws scampering across the floor to greet me and to feel kitty whiskers brushing across my arm. When I woke up on the morning of the day I found Clara I hadn’t expected I’d be ending the day with a kitty in the house.

You just never know what magic each day might bring, do you? 🙂

Always in Your Right Place

“Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

There have been times in my life when I’ve had to make choices between this thing and another thing – between this path or that one – and I sometimes agonized about these choices. And then one day it came to me: Wherever I go,  whatever I do – Love, God, is there. I’m never outside of Love’s presence or direction. I’m always in my right place.

Right place

“Oh geeze. This is going to be one of those God-things.”

Yeah. This one is going to have God stuff in it. Sorry. I just gotta.

So yesterday I took myself on a most excellent little hike in the North Cascades  (the Table Mountain trail). We (me and I) were feeling a little selfish because we brought no one else with us. But me and I were feeling the need for some alone time yesterday.

A couple miles from the Heather Meadows parking lot (where the trail begins) I saw a couple of hitch-hikers, and pulled over to see if I could be of help. Alice and Sally asked if they could snag a lift up to Heather Meadows with me – they planned to hike back down to their car from there. I said sure and they got into Rosalita Ipswich O’Molenovich (my Ford Fiesta) for the short ride up to the parking lot. We exchanged particulars  – they were from Whidby Island and were planning to finish the Chain Lakes trail that day. I told them I don’t always feel comfortable about picking up hitch-hikers – but they looked pretty harmless. There was this little pause, and then I added, “Of course, it’s the harmless-looking ones they tell you to watch out for…” and Sally and Alice started laughing.

Once we got to the parking lot they let me take their picture before they headed out on their adventure:

 

Alice Sally

Alice and Sally

And then I started on my own hike up Table Mountain…

Table Mountain luminex (2)

Table Mountain

The trail is pretty steep – but it’s a short hike, and I soon found myself on top.

And here’s where the God stuff comes in. As I was tromping around up there – butterflies landing on my shoe, my eyes full of blue skies and magnificent vistas – I became aware of a playful, loving presence with me – what I would call “God.” I realized I wasn’t really alone – that I’m never really alone – that this presence of Love has always been with me, and always would be. And then I thought of my old hiking partner – my cousin, Skip, who passed on 15 or 20 years ago – and, in that moment, I felt close to him – like he was with me, too. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes: “In Science, individual good derived  from God, the infinite All-in-all, may flow from the departed to mortals…” – and that’s what it felt like – it felt like Skip’s joy was reaching out to me, up there on that trail. But it wasn’t just Skip I was feeling this connection with – it was bigger than that. It was cosmic, universal. A connection with all Life.

Anyway. So that’s the God stuff.

And here are some more pictures from my day…

My Olympic Moment

Today I had my own Olympic moment AND I learned a key to winning: Don’t tell your competition that there IS a competition.

Scott and I rode our bikes into Edison for a snack and then back home. He led the entire way – until we came to the home stretch – the last 400 yards. Then I got it into my noggin that this was my Olympic moment – I started pedaling really fast and zoomed past Scott for the driveway. He just had time to say, “Hey!” before I surged ahead and got to the “finish line.” Yeah. It was pretty epic, as you can imagine. Thunderous applause and a standing ovation and flags waving and stuff. Well… you know… in my mind. But still… I am overcome with emotion here. Wiping the tears from my face and expecting the TV crew to appear on my doorstep at any moment. I probably should vacuum and dust. I have a paper plate that I think might make a nice medal.

Olympic flag

There were two stories that came out of the 2016 Olympics that really touched me: The first one was the story of the South African athlete, Wayde van Niekerk, who went to the Olympics to represent his nation, his mother (a gifted black athlete who hadn’t been allowed to compete outside South Africa  because of the apartheid in that country at that time), and his 74 year-old white coach, Anna Botha, who he said treated him as her own child; The second story that really touched me was the story of the two women (one from the U.S.A. and one from New Zealand) who stopped to encourage each other to keep going in the 5000 meter race after they both fell. Now, for me, those two stories are what the Olympics are all about, my friends – not proving you’re “better” than everyone else, not winning personal glory and accolades and praise – but working together, working for each other, competing for something or someone other than your own ego.

The Olympic athletes inspired me – not just the ones who won the medals – but every athlete who gave her or his best, who showed heart, who displayed kindness and courage.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Eagle in Flight (photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell)

…they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
– Isaiah 40: 31

(The image of the Olympic flag can be found at this URL:
http://www.pe04.com/olympic/trivia/flag_t.php)

Dazzling Days of Daring-Do

Remembering days when we played hide and seek
in the parking lot at Mount Rainier on summer nights –
my fellow park employees and I slithering
under trucks and dodging behind cars
and laughing so hard our bellies hurt.

Or we might go looking for bears on the trails
in the evenings – hoping we wouldn’t actually
find any, but enjoying the idea of it –
my friend, Dan, pulling me in front of him
for protection, as we encountered imaginary beasts.

We were young. The world was full of adventure
and laughter, and daring-do.

Forty years have brought changes –
marriage, motherhood, responsibilities.
My body seems more matronly than springy
these days. I will be entering my sixth decade
in a few weeks. I felt some trepidation about this.

Would I never have another adventure?
Were the dazzling days of daring-do done?

I went for a walk around the lake yesterday.
I wanted more. Walked from old town to the park.
I wanted more. Walked from the park to downtown,
and back again. Then Scott came home with an idea:
Let’s walk the trail to the beach when the sun sets.

I was all stretched out from nine miles of walking,
and ready for more. A walk in the evening cool.

Darkening trail, lovely roots and rocks to climb
smell of fir and cedar and briny bay
and the sunset – brilliant reds and golds
and blue filling my eyes in the west as the full
moon rises in the east, shimmering silver on the sea.

Crashing waves, sparkling light from sun and moon,
peace and perspective from the stars dotting the above.

And then flashlights come out of our pockets
and we find our way back through the woods,
rocks and roots, joking about what we’d do
if big eyes glowed towards us at eye level  down the trail –
and we’re laughing and brave and young again.

The adventures haven’t ended.
There are still dazzling days of daring-do.

– Karen Molenaaar Terrell