I most miss open smiles and hugs full of love.
I miss the waitress at the Colophon Cafe who takes
my order for African peanut soup as the music
of friends chatting and laughing at the other
tables washes over us, and bathes us in their joy.
I miss stopping to chat on the boardwalk and
meeting old friends, and new. I miss getting
to know people as we wait in line at the store,
and running into former students in the aisles.
I miss buying mochas for the stranger standing
on the corner. I miss the buskers and their music,
and the color and energy of the Farmers Market.
Here’s what I will miss when this is over –
I’ll miss the quiet roads and clean blue skies.
I’ll miss the No Car Days and the time at home
with family. I’ll miss the weeks without a schedule
and losing track of time. I’ll miss the stillness
and peace and time to reflect. I’ll miss this time
alone. I’ll miss the uninterrupted time to create
and garden and sing and think. I’ll miss the time
to catch up with correspondence, and the time
to sort and recycle the flotsam and jetsam that
washes from the mailbox and onto our kitchen
counter Monday through Saturday.
I’m going to remember to be grateful for what
I had then, and grateful for what I have now,
and grateful for what I’ll have tomorrow, too.
I am grateful for family and friends;
a home full of love,
and memories without end;
Clara Kitty, Sparky, and Superdog Sam;
and the challenges
that have helped make me who I am;
clothing and shoes;
a fire in the stove;
the times I win and the times I lose;
potatoes and pies;
picas and marmots;
university and public school;
cameras and words
and all the other tools
we have for sharing the
world’s beauty and joy
with each other;
baby animals and young
people and older people;
people with a sense of humor;
and the rainbow that comes after;
people who wave from the train;
people who smile back;
mountains to climb
and trails to backpack;
food in the pantry; laptops,
cellphones, the internet;
water, toilets, electricity;
and books newly-met;
blue skies, puffy clouds,
rainbows, sunrises and sunsets;
music; flowers; malty autumn
leaves and sparkly snow;
the intuition that tells me
which way to go;
the First Amendment
courage, honesty, and generosity;
walks along the briny bay;
and waking every morning
to a fresh day;
Truth; Life, and Love never-ending,
and I am really grateful to know YOU.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell
(Photos by Karen Molenaar Terrell)
Rainbow Over Padilla Bay
Otters in Bellingham
Butterfly in the North Cascades, WA
Dragonfly near Mount Rainier
Pinnacle Peak in Mount Rainier National Park. Photo from the Plummer Peak trail. (Karen Molenaar Terrell)
Clara and her tail.
Sunrise over Bow, WA
Sunset in Skagit County, WA
Trumpeter Swans in Bow, WA (photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell)
I was hoping I’d find some sunflowers to bring into our home for Thanksgiving – there’s something so cheery and wholesome about sunflowers – they instantly light up a room with their sunshiney faces. But, alas, there were no sunflowers to be found in any of the local supermarkets, and my last sunflowers had died off in the freeze a week ago.
Or so I thought…
A few weeks ago I’d leaned a sunflower stalk that had blown down in the wind against the corner of our house. I’d clipped off the sunflowers that were in bloom and put them in a vase in the breakfast nook – but had tossed the flowers out a week ago when they died.
So today, after I gave up on finding sunflowers in a store, I was wandering around the yard looking for something – anything – that might still be flowering that I could bring into the house for Thanksgiving. And as I walked past the sunflower stalk I’d leaned against the house weeks ago I saw there was one little sunflower beaming its happy little face up at me!
It’s amazing how much joy it gave me to find that little sunflower waiting for me right there – at the corner of our house! She’s now shining her golden beauty from the windowsill in my kitchen.
I got a sunflower for Thanksgiving, after all!
Tucked into a little table for one
in a corner of the Colophon
Cafe after a brisk walk along
the windy wave-tossed bay –
I’m feeling mellow and at peace
with life. It has been a lovely day.
The human-song falls and increases
in waves around me – soft exchanges,
and loud rolling laughter, female
and male blended together – ranges
from bass to soprano dance and sail
into my ears and gently tickle my soul.
In front of me a pot of steaming green tea,
African peanut soup, a soft, warm roll,
and slices of cheddar and Swiss cheese.
It is a moment of perfection.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell
“This is the day that Love hath made! Be glad, give thanks, rejoice!”
Sunset over flooded fields in Skagit County, Washington State. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.
It’s a miracle of perfection.
I am warm and fed and I can hear
my loved one tapping the keys on his laptop
and clearing his throat
I have chamomile tea with cream and a chunk of
sourdough bread and the wind is moving
the rain-splattered screen on the window
and making the lights behind it look like they’re dancing
I feel no pain or fear
I know I’m completely safe
and I imagine coming through some terrible danger
and finding myself in this room
and what a miracle that would seem to be
and how much I’d appreciate the simple unremarkable
perfection of it
and I am filled with gratitude.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell
(excerpt from A Poem Lives on My Windowsill)