I step out of the door for a walk around the block and am instantly surrounded in the magic of a spring evening in the ‘hood – immersed in birsong and frogsong and the fragrance of spring flowers as the cool air embraces them and in the sky a star twinkles at me connecting me to the divine – to a cosmos bigger than my problems, enveloping me in Its peace and joy
I am a part of something amazing -Karen Molenaar Terrell
The son and I talked about the tree on the drive home. 850 years it had lived on this planet! It had been seeded in the late 1100’s – around the time of Genghis Khan and England’s King John, before Mansua Musa or Marco Polo, da Vinci or Michelangelo. Before Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Shakespeare, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. or Mooji. It rooted into the soil as a tender seedling and grew during the Black Plague; grew while the ash from Krakatoa blocked the sun; and while factories sprouted up across the northern hemisphere. It grew while soldiers fought to end slavery; while World War I and World War II raged across Europe; while our planet warmed; and while division and despair made humans sometimes wonder if our planet was beyond repair. It grew. Quietly, without fanfare or medals or approval or star ratings – it lived, created oxygen, and grew – because that is what trees do. And maybe when it was older and sturdy, indigenous children played in its bends and called it “friend.” I like to think that’s true.
Yesterday I visited my wise friend, Charles. He could tell I was scared about our world. “Just be present,” he said. “Be a tree.” -Karen Molenaar Terrell
T’was ten days afore Christmas and all o’er the Earth human kinds were scrambling to find Christmassy mirth. We looked under our beds and up to the North Pole, looked in our attics and in our cookie dough bowls.
We looked to see if we could order the spirit online or find it at the supermarket or in a Christmassy pine. We looked in the fridge and under our car seats, looked for it in old movies and in peppermint treats.
And then we stopped and settled our searching thoughts, and it occurred to us that Christmas couldn’t be bought, and that it wasn’t hiding from us here or there – Christmas was in this moment, in our hearts, and everywhere!
And the Christmas joy spilled out of us, joining the joy of the Cosmos, reaching out with love to the darkest, farthest outpost. And hope filled our hearts, and love broke down the walls. And we heard the Cosmos proclaim: “On earth peace, good will to all!”
It says 3:33 on the clock beside the bed and when I look at the clock sideways I see birds flying on the canvas in my head. I think, “Somewhere in the world a new life has just been born!” I’m filled with hope – not “hoping-for-the-best” hope, but expectancy- of-good hope – hope bigger and vaster, reaching me faster than the speed of light. -Karen Molenaar Terrell
Love’s celebration feel the joy surrounding you never-ending Life -Karen Molenaar Terrell
I can’t sleep and go to my friends’ FB walls treasure-hunting for hope; for love that calls to all creation; for jewels of inspiration and wisdom that go beyond human rules and resonate with the rhythm beating in my own heart. And I bring back these gifts: A poem about father-love; A photo of a puppy nestled in her new human’s arms; A painting of a golden sunrise; Posts about epic bike rides and happy-together times; Pictures from mountain climbs; The blessing from a flute; Photos of home-grown fruits; and everywhere magic. -Karen Molenaar Terrell
There’s a large part of this story that’s not mine to share and I’ll leave to my friend to share if she wants. But I think I can share this part:
Looking back on Facebook at the history of our friendship, it looks like we met on November 8, 2018, and became immediate friends. I was taking my walk on the Bellingham boardwalk when I first met her. It was a cold day. She wore a hat, I remember. I recognized a kinship – I saw in her expression a shared experience. I opened my heart to hear her story and she poured her heart out to me. Heart-to-heart. I felt so privileged by that – by her trust in me.
I understood some of what she was going through – I’d gone through a similar experience about ten years before. I’m not sure what I said to her. I might have told her that I understood – that I’d been there, too – that I knew she was in a scary place – but that she was also in a really amazing place – that she was completely free to create a whole new life for herself and that I knew that was scary, but that I thought she’d find it was also really exhilarating. An adventure!
I went home and found her on FB and discovered we had a bunch of friends in common. That was cool. And I asked her to be my FB friend.
Through the last four years we’ve sometimes run into each other by magic – not purposefully, but always perfectly. We’ve come upon each other at rallies and in the supermarket and walking along a street. When it was my turn to get a COVID vaccine, I was a little freaked out, and I contacted my friend because I knew she was working at the vaccination site and I knew I could count on her to help walk me through what I had to do. She was a blessing to me during that time.
And today I ran into her at the supermarket. She shared with me that last weekend, through her new role at work, she was in a position to help someone who told her that she “most likely” had saved his life.
As she was sharing her story I started crying. And then she started crying. And we hugged and cried and laughed together. She asked me if I remembered where she was when we’d first met, and I nodded and said, “And now you’re saving lives!”
In the last few days, I’ve felt the Cosmos reaching out to me with hope and reassurance and love. I’m being constantly reminded of all the Good in the world. I’m so grateful for that.
I was feeling discouraged this morning. No, “discouraged” is an understatement for what I was feeling – what I was feeling was something beyond that. As I was posting on FB, my friend, Kathy, commented that she could use a hug and said she’d be working to register voters at the Mount Vernon YMCA. Coincidentally, I needed a hug, too. I also needed to get some groceries. So I got in Rosalita Ipswich O’Molenovich and drove, first, to the supermarket, and then to the YMCA.
When I got to the supermarket, I saw a man standing on a corner with a sign indicating he was in need. And the thought that came to me was, “I maybe don’t want to be on this planet right now, but maybe I can do some good while I AM here.” So I parked and walked over to the man and asked if I could get him something in the supermarket. He said he was really hungry, so I asked him if I could get him a sandwich, and he said yes. I bought my groceries – including TWO quarts of Paul Newman virgin lemonade – and then picked up a sandwich for the gentleman on the corner.
When I brought him his sandwich, I realized he was probably pretty thirsty, too – it’s hot here today – and I realized the second quart of lemonade was for him. He smiled and thanked me and took the sandwich and lemonade from me.
I was already feeling much better.
After the supermarket, I drove down to find Kathy at the YMCA to exchange a hug, and met a whole lot of other really cool people, too. There was young Roran with his rainbow drawings, a woman who helps victims of domestic violence, a couple people who work with Planned Parenthood, and folks from PFLAG of Skagit County. And meeting these people – brave and compassionate and caring people – has given me back my hope.