“Are we almost there, yet”

I remember one time, as I was coming down
from a hike, when I got near the trailhead
I saw a couple hikers just starting out who
looked like they had a sense of humor.
“You’re almost there!” I told them. I had
judged correctly: They laughed.

Today as I was coming down from a hike –
just two quick switchbacks from the top –
a sweaty hiker asked if she was close
and I could tell her, “Yes! You’re almost
there! You’re going to make it!” It was
awesome to see the smile come to her face.

Today the hike back down was no bed
of roses, either. It seemed to go on forever.
The further I got down the trail the more
I felt my gait turning into the gait of an old
mariner – lurching from left hip to right hip
as with the rolling waves on the ocean.

I wanted to ask the people coming up if I
was “almost there, yet” – was I almost back
down? But I didn’t.

I found another way. The tired, sweaty
folks panting for breath showed me I still
had a ways to go. As I got nearer
the trailhead the faces weren’t as red,
the breathing not as labored. And when
I saw happy, smiling  hikers still fine-
tuning adjustments on their packs I knew
I was almost back to the beginning.

The hike isn’t just the getting there –
it’s the getting back.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

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Doe in the River

Doe in the River

Morning peace
The doe stands in the river
drinking from the mountain waters
her form reflected in a still pool
within the stream.
Dang! Where is my camera?!
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Garage Treasures

A bag of Camp Fire Girl beads from fifty years ago
and a little girl’s autograph book filled
with signatures from family and friends –
some now gone. Prusik slings and an ice axe
she used on Rainier, and a backpack that traveled
with her through Europe.  A tiger squirt gun
thrown to her in the midst of the best squirt
gun fight ever by a young man named Phil or Bill
who in a western twang drawled, “Here, little lady,
I think you’re going to need this.” And a book
that her father took with him as he climbed K2,
inscribed by the American consul in India.
A Mary Poppins bag with a Mary Poppins doll –
no longer prim or practically perfect in every way –
barefoot and hair tousled – she has lost her button-
up Edwardian footwear and her flower-bedecked hat –
but she still has the power to bring a smile
to her human’s face. And she looks on these artifacts
of a life before now, remembering who she was,
and seeing the things she’s always been.
She was an odd little girl.  She is an odd woman.
But, dang! What a wonderful life she has lived.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

 

There’s Good Going on Here

In spite of what you
seem to see there’s good going
on here, now, always.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

“Undisturbed amid the jarring testimony of the material senses, Science, still enthroned, is unfolding to mortals the immutable, harmonious, divine Principle, – is unfolding Life and the universe, ever present and eternal.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

sunset-laconner-4

photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell

Our World Is in Labor

Our world is in labor.
It’s painful to watch
and painful to go through.
But there’s a birth going
on here. Or a rebirth.
Something beautiful is going
to be born of this. I feel it.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Butterfly on Table Mountain

An alpine butterfly flits among the flowers on Table Mountain. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

 

We Have to Keep Trying

We have to keep trying
keep loving, keep vying
with hate, bigotry, and greed
We need to be kind in word
and in deed
We have to keep singing,
keep dancing, keep bringing
our gifts to the world’s table
and give what we’re able
We have to keep hope alive,
and laughter and joy, dive
into Life’s celebration –
it belongs to all nations
We have to keep trying –

because what’s the alternative?
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Thou shalt have no other gods but Love

my country is killing people

my country is killing people
separating parents from children
building walls to keep “them” out
and to keep “us” in
my country is killing people
in the streets because of the color
of their skin, their sexual orientation,
and their religion
my country is killing people
in their newspaper offices, churches,
at concerts, schools, and malls
because guns are more important
my country is killing people
in an economy that gives tax
cuts to the rich, and denies access
to health care for the poor
my country is killing people
as it kills the environment with coal
trains, fracking, oil pipelines, pesticides
and greed

and i am ashamed

– Karen Molenaar Terrell