Locust trees and lupines and pungent pine pollen and wild roses growing along the river and green grass just-cropped send their sweet scent wafting on gentle winds past my nose. -Karen Molenaar Terrell
I discovered something the other day – I was sitting in a cranky, put-upon place stewing in my own impatience – and then – I shut it off. Put it behind me. The troubles from the moment before were no longer relevant to me. And a laughing lightness – a joyful presence – just wrapped itself around me in a happy hug and – instantly! – I felt whole and free and at peace with the world. I discovered I can let go of then. I discovered I can live in now. -Karen Molenaar Terrell
I expect to see her at the door tail wagging on our walks nostrils quivering one paw raised mid-stride nose covered in dirt from her latest hole unaware of her own beauty sleek and shiny as a black panther, but goofy as a Disney character exhausting exuberant extraordinary friendlly, fetching frisbees and finding – like magic! – every tennis ball that ever landed off a trail. It was a gift she had. Her first night with us she ate a chunk out of our ottoman – which we will now call “The Samantha Terrell Memorial Ottoman.” Then she went through an “electronics”phase – the cellphone (chomp), the remote control (crunch).
Sam loved her neighbors – the dogs and their humans – and her walks around the neighborhood included frisky, friendly greetings – dog greetings and human greetings. And now the neighbors send us flowers and notes: “She was a good girl.” Our neighbors were good friends to Samantha and their notes make me smile – seeing the love. I miss our Samantha the Wonder Dog. -Karen Molenaar Terrell
Thoughts upon a reading a dialogue between two of my friends:
Jeepers. Let’s give each other grace and space and the opportunity to grow at our own pace None of us is stuck in one place mentally We’re all evolving, changing, re-arranging moment by moment by moment. No need to judge here. No need to preach all sanctimonious to each other. The person I was yesterday is gone and so is the person you were and so is the person next to you – and what’s the point of judging a person who no longer exists? -Karen Molenaar Terrell
All people want to be heard and acknowledged and seen and valued and not discounted or ignored or pushed off to the side as insignificant or irrelevant. We all want a voice. We all want to be heard – no matter the color of our skin or our gender or our age or our sexual orientation. And I don’t think we should be ashamed of wanting that and needing it.
You matter. You are important to the world. -Karen Molenaar Terrell
“Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity.” -Mary Baker Eddy (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 70)
“Beloved children, the world has need of you…” -Mary Baker Eddy
I don’t need any advice or platitudes here – I know this will pass and every bird has a silver lining and early clouds catch the worm and time closes doors and an open window heals all wounds and it’s going to be alright and better days lie ahead and yada yada. But, speaking as just a human bean, DANG. You know? The last four years feel like one long series of good byes. Mom. And then Rachael Randy Benjamin Bob Anita Mike Dean Peggy and Laurie. And Dad.
I didn’t have time to grieve Mom because I needed to step up for Dad. And then I didn’t have time to grieve Dad because the pandemic hit and our home became the sheltering place for sons and their partners and it was so good to have everyone here – laughter and family time – a place of refuge.
And today the last son moved out. This chapter is finished – this home has served its purpose and I feel the book opening to a new chapter – and maybe a new setting. And I watched “10 Things I Hate About You” and found myself sobbing when Heath Ledger’s face appeared on the screen. And I know I’m ridiculous.
But… maybe the time for grieving has finally come -Karen Molenaar Terrell
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…” – Ecclesiastes 3:1
Window seat on the flight out glaciered peaks and patchwork fields glistening rivers and cloud towers and tiny towns in the hours from here to there – imagining the people below looking up and seeing the jet stream from their backyards. Mentally waving to them. Time and space to look inside-out and breathe and rest and enjoy our route.
Aisle seat on the flight back in greeting people as they walk past me – Red Carnegie-Mellon t-shirts, masks of rainbow colors, a skateboard with a PNW Native American design and “Can you tell I’m smiling?” I ask, pointing to my smiley mask.
Flight out and flight back in – a balance for the introvert and extrovert in me looking out and looking in, and breathe out and breathe in. -Karen Molenaar Terrell
I’m feeling weirdly untethered – like I got dropped from the sky and am in free fall or got unhooked from the line that connects me to the Mother Ship and am floating off into space. It is scary and also kind of exhilarating.
Retirement ain’t for sissies. -Karen Molenaar Terrell
I saw a terrible thing yesterday – Involving a mama duck and her baby ducklings and a freeway and a car next to me rolling through feathers. I saw a dead body, and downy feathers on little webbed feet scurrying into the woods without their mama. I pulled over and moved the mama’s still-warm body off the road, tried to call to the babies to come out, wanting to gather them in my arms and bring them home, and keep them safe. And who can I talk to about this ache in my heart? Who would understand?
There was a misunderstanding months ago in the supermarket, involving a woman in a Seahawks mask – I thought she could be a new friend. I tried to connect to her in the aisle between bulk foods and olive oil – “Go Seahawks!” I said, muffled behind my mask. She looked at me above her mask, and frowned, and I knew the Seahawks fan didn’t understand what I’d said – – she couldn’t read my lips or see my smile, and I’d scared her – she was Black and I am White and we live in a time of distrust and fear. The Seahawks fan left quickly, before I could explain. And who can I talk to about this ache in my heart? Who would understand?
I drove by a big rhododendron bush with fat red flowers and thought of Mom and the rhododendron bush she’d planted by the front door of our old home and felt a sudden yearning for her warm hugs and her words of comfort and reassurance. If she were still here I could talk to her about the orphaned ducklings and the woman in the Seahawks mask and my fears and worries and insecurities and she would love me. And who do I talk to now about this ache in my heart?
And the answer came in an instant – a joyous Presence enfolded me in peace and love, without question or judgment or condition or hesitation, affirming the power of Good: Love’s communication of never-ending Life and never-ending care for Her creation – care for ducklings, and a woman in a Seahawks mask, and Mom and me. Love knows what’s in my heart. She knows my intent. And I know I can let it all go – She’s got this. Love gives all Her children exactly what we need, exactly when we need it, and in the exactly right way – including Her ducks and Her child in a Seahawks mask and Her child who is my Mom, and Her child who is me.
Who can I talk to about the ache in my heart? My Father-Mother Love. Always and forever. -Karen Molenaar Terrell
“The intercommunication is always from God to His idea, man.” -Mary Baker Eddy