The Gift of Being Trusted

It was a busy intersection in bustling mid-day traffic and I’d just pulled up to a right-turn yield sign, ready to slide myself into traffic when there was a break in the flow. I glanced to the right and saw a young Black man with a shopping cart full of belongings, waiting to cross to the island on the other side of me. He saw me look at him – I think I smiled – and he pointed to the island – he was asking if he could go ahead and cross in front of me. I smiled and pointed to the island, too, and raised my eyebrows and nodded my head – indicating that he was good to go. He nodded his head at me and crossed in front of me – trusting me – and we gave each other a “have a good day” wave.

And I know this seems like just a litte thing, but I can’t tell you what it meant to me that this young man trusted his life to me as he crossed in front of my car.

That’s how communities function, isn’t it? We’re all trusting each other with our very lives – every day of every month of every year that we’re out there, moving amongst each other.

Dare to Live

Dear young friend,
I remember thinking my life was over
at your age
when he no longer loved me
I couldn’t imagine how I’d go on
how it would be
what the future would hold for me
I thought I’d never find anyone else
who would love me like he had
I imagined going through life alone
without love, without connection,
without a family or home
of my own

I wanted to die

And now here I am forty years later
and so grateful that relationship
didn’t last
because I wouldn’t have what I have now –
my family, my home, my career –
if that first relationship hadn’t crashed
and all the time between then and today
all the distance traveled
all the lessons learned
has made me see
what a laughably small part
that relationship held in my life
or my heart

dare to live
dare to move on and see
all the magic life holds yet for thee
as long as YOU can love
you have a reason to be
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

“This Moment I Lived and Breathed and Loved and Was.”

This moment you’re living and breathing,
loving and wondering and being.
Take note of this.
Mark it on your calendar with a grateful kiss.
“This moment I lived and breathed and loved and was.”
Because.
I could.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Let’s Say We Had a Choice

So let’s say we knew, for instance, that our world was heading towards its doom. Let’s say, for instance, that a superpower had invaded, unprovoked, a neighboring country and was pulling other nations into a world war. Let’s say that a tyrant had somehow managed to build a following and get himself into power in our own country, and, after losing a legitimate election, was doing everything he could – criminal, illegal, dishonest things – to get himself back into power. Let’s say that there were more guns than people in this country (120.5 for every100 people, let’s say) and that it didn’t look like our country’s leaders were going to try to get control of that any time soon. Let’s say that more than 311,000 students had experienced gun violence in schools since Columbine. Let’s say that plastics, fossil fuel consumption, overuse, misuse, and abuse was destroying our oceans, land and air. Let’s say that even the basic right to have control over our own bodies was being threatened. Let’s say there was talk of Civil War. Let’s say things looked like complete crap here.

What then? Would we give up? Would we just resign ourselves to our collective fate and spend our time here shivering in fear, waiting for death, holed up in our hidey holes? Or… would we use our time here to try to find solutions? Would we view every new day as another chance to love and be kind and to make a new friend and make something beautiful?

Let’s say we had a choice.

Not What’s Past, Nor What I May Dread

not what’s now, nor what’s ahead –
not what’s past, nor what I may dread –
not what I’ve gained or what I’ve shed;
nor what’s living or what’s dead;
neither the foot, nor the head;
neither what follows, nor what led;
neither what’s read, or said –
alpha or zed –
separates me
from the All that is Good
and mine to claim
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

(This is a piece of another poem that I re-worked to turn into something new.)

Feel the Almighty Presence of Love

feel
the almighty presence of Love
enveloping you in strong Father-arms
in a gentle Mother-embrace
protecting, holding you close
and dear

hear
the voice of Life in your ear –
laughing with joy,
singing in sweet harmony
conducting all of infinity
in a symphony of never-ending
celebration

see
all of infinite creation
within the murmuration
of Mind – moving at His will
never outside the One –
Source of all movement
and animation

smell and taste
the fragrance of Soul’s creation
pure and clean and kind,
healthy and whole –
the Word of Truth sustaining,
nourishing, maintaining
all that is good and true
for you
and all.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

“O taste and see that the Lord is good!”
(Psalms 34:8)

Sunrise Over Skagit County, Washington. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

Did You Really Think?

Really, Karen? Did you really think
everyone who knew you would like you?
And did you really think there was
something wrong with you if they didn’t?
P’shaw. Get over yourself.
People’s lives don’t revolve around you
and what you said
and what you did
and what you thought.
For God’s sake, move on, woman!
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Mine to Claim Right Now

What is this choice I’m making?
Why this stubborn resistance
when I know I can reach out to Love
and find her right now, right here?
What keeps me from doing that?
What keeps me from drawing near
to my Mother-Father – to what’s dear
to me?

Nothing.

Nothing can separate me from Love –
not stubborn resistance
or mortal mind’s push and shove
or incessant insistence
of its own power and ego.

Love is here, I know –
tenderly enfolding me in Her arms
even as I type and no foe –
neither a mortal life, nor death;
nor what’s now, nor what’s ahead –
not what’s past, nor what I dread –
nor what’s high or in the deepest bed;
neither the foot, nor the head;
nor feeling a lack of food, or overfed;
neither what follows, nor what led;
neither what’s read, or said –
alpha or zed –
separates me
from the All that is Good
and mine to claim right now.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
-Romans 8:38-39

Finding Peace

the instinct is to fold in on myself
hide away in a dark corner somewhere
away from the cacophony and the bells
and whistles – in a quiet padded lair
away from worry, stress, and care
just close the door to my closet
and pray a silent prayer
hoping to feel hope again
hoping to find stillness in the din
to find a place where we can all win
and find peace
-Karen Molenaar Terrell