Saving Worms and Singing to Bovines

Had a nice bike ride through the ‘hood yesterday. I hadn’t gone far before I was saving worms. A little further still, and I was singing to bovines…

Note to my neighbor: Paul, I used your garden as a worm refuge today. I found four little worms drying on the street in front of your house, and I plucked them up and dug a little two inch hole in the corner of your garden and covered them up with soft soil. I think they might make it! I didn’t think you would mind, and I knew they would be safe with you. If you have home surveillance tape that shows a woman in a bicycle helmet rooting around in the corner of your garden… that’s just me.

Paul’s response: Those rascals! I told them that they were to stay home last night. Must have snuck out. Thank you Karen. It takes a village.

Here’s a youtube of me singing to the bovines. (Hymn #136 in the Christian Science Hymnal. Words by J.R. Macduff.)

And some pics…

Cosmic Give and Take

He was waiting outside the store
when I came out with my groceries
and I said hi. He smiled and said hi back.
Give and take.
Who taught him to smile? Who taught me?

I started to wheel my cart to my car
mentally scrolling through my shopping list
to see if I had anything to share with him.
Tangerines!
I rolled my cart back towards him.
You want an orange?
Sure!
Can you catch it?
Yeah! And he smiled at the idea
of a game of catch.
I tossed. He caught.
Who taught me how to throw?
Who taught him how to catch?
My dad? His dad? And now our dads
are connected in our give and take.

As Scott drove west, a train engine
went west in reverse. Our car
passed the train as the engineer
sat facing me and I smiled across
the tracks at him and he smiled
and waved back to me.
I caught his wave and returned it.
Who taught him how to wave?
Who taught me?
All the cosmos connected in a giant
give and take.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Let’s Stop Dehumanizing Each Other

At a time when we desperately need to come together and support the good in each other – at a time when we need to do away with stereotypes and stop dehumanizing each other – it was very disappointing to see the headline in the paper today. It felt like a punch in the gut. It’s time for people of privilege to stop using “Karens” as their scapegoat – as a way to show that they are allies to the disenfranchised and that they aren’t bigots. In actuality, people who use “Karen” as a pejorative are revealing their bigotry – their sexism and ageism – by using the name in this way.

Using “Karen” as a label for a racist isn’t funny or clever. It’s mean. Those named “Karen” feel pain; they cry and mourn and grieve and deal with mental health issues just like everyone else. And this kind of bullying hurts – I have at least one friend named “Karen” who has contemplated suicide in the last year. Using “Karen” in this way does not add anything good or kind to this world. And this world is in desperate need of kindness.
Karen Molenaar Terrell

I Was Really Hoping to Be Grandmother Willow

I’ve been sort of aspiring to be “Grandmother Willow” for a few years now – hoping to dispense my wisdom and years of experience to the younger generations. And today it hit me that the younger generations are dealing with a whole new world than the one I was born into – and they’re having to make up a lot of stuff from scratch to deal with this whole new world. So. Yeah. My years of experience are from a different world than theirs and I’m not sure how helpful anything I have to say will be at this point.

I guess this is all I have to offer:
Live in a way that you can feel good about yourself.
1) Be kind.
2) Be honest.
3) Be fair.
4) If you make a mistake, admit to it and learn from it. But don’t let your mistakes keep you from moving forward.
5) Forgive people their mistakes, and forgive yourself, too.
6) Don’t focus on accumulating material stuff. That’s not going to bring you joy.
7) Stand up to bullies.
8) Give yourself time alone, with your own thoughts, now and then.
9) Don’t be afraid to say “no” when saying “yes” is going to be harmful to your own spiritual growth, or to someone else’s.
10) Don’t be afraid to say “yes” when you know it will make you a better human, or make the world a better place.
Karen

(Photo of willow by Karen Molenaar Terrell.)

Celebrating You on This Inauguration Day

My dear friends –

We’re still here! We’ve lived through yesterday and made it to today and that has been no small feat.

On this Inauguration Day I celebrate you – each and every beautiful one of you! I celebrate your compassion, courage, and commitment to kindness. I celebrate your honesty, your decency, your charity. I celebrate your moral strength and integrity. I celebrate that you stand for justice; kneel for equality and fairness; and dance for the joy that no one can steal from you. You have transformed the world. You have made it a better place. You are a wonder.

A new day is dawning. Go out there and work your magic, my friends.
Karen

(Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.)

May: Sunrise over Skagit County, WA

The World Is in Need of Your Courage and Kindness

My dear Humoristian hooligans –
The world is in need of all the love and courage you can shine on it today – the world is in need of your reflection of all that is good and decent. You are important – each and every beautiful one of you – in your expressions of kindness, honesty, and irrepressible, unstoppable, insurmountable joy. May the scared, misguided and misinformed be awakened by your unwavering wisdom and unshakable faith in Truth. May the bullies and belligerent bigots be transformed by your buoyant, unbreakable belief in the brotherhood and sisterhood and kinship of all creatures. May we all help our world find peace.
Amen.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

What Will Matter in Fifty Years

Last night as I was falling asleep I thought again of that one-star rating someone gave me for my audio book (that rating appears at the top of the page any time I google myself) and I came to terms with it. Sort of. I figured it was going to be there as long as I needed it to be there. I decided to be grateful for whatever lesson I need to learn from it. And then I thought bigger than that. When I die, I realized, none of any of that is going to matter – not the five stars, not the one star, not my name or my reputation or my popularity – that stuff – all of it – will soon be forgotten and in 50 years nobody will even remember “Karen Molenaar Terrell” was here. The one star and the five stars have nothing to do with who I really am – with my real identity as a child of the Cosmos. What WILL matter in 50 years is that I was kind while I was here, and honest. Even though my name won’t be remembered, I figure any kindness I leave behind me will leave an impression – a ripple maybe – that will join all the other ripples of kindness and help bring our little boat of mankind to the shore in a wave of Love. (I know. I am so deep, right?)

So anyway – this morning – the first morning of 2021 – I googled me again (I cannot help myself – remember that scene in “Schitt’s Creek” where Johnny asks a freaked-out Moira if she “googled” herself again?) and some kind someone had added a 5-star rating to my audio book! Bless their heart. That brings my audiobook up to three stars now. And – to be honest (and because I’m still human) – that feels a lot better than one star.

Thank you, kind person.

Ode to Boxing Day

It’s a humble holiday, tucked in between
Christmas and New Year’s, but it’s really keen.
Things look a little bedraggled, it’s true
The tree’s a little droopy and no longer new

The movies and music of the Christmas season
Are getting on our nerves now, and we’re seeing no reason
To eat even one more sugary oversweet sweet
It’s time for broccoli and carrots (maybe hold on the beets)

The pressure for perfection comes off on this day,
The toys have been opened, and it’s come time to play.
And if before we were wearing faux holiday cheer
To blend in with the others and not Scroogey appear

It’s time now to be genuine, and honest and real
The food banks are empty, people still need a warm meal
The homeless and hungry and jobless and alone
Still need love and caring, still need a home.

So maybe we can celebrate the day after Christmas –
By keeping the spirit of hope alive, we might make that our business.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Why Would I Choose…?

Why would I choose bitterness
and deny myself the peace
of forgiveness?
Why would I choose anger
and deny myself the joy
of kindness?
Why would I choose hate
and deny myself
the healing presence of Love?
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

May the peace, joy, and presence of Love fill your hearts and home this Christmas!

Only Five More Days

My dear Humoristian hooligans –

Only five more days. Whatever befalls, know that your humor and wit, courage and honesty, compassion and kindness, have mattered. You have made a difference in our world. None of the good you’ve done has been wasted. I am so grateful to know you – each and every radiant, rascally, raspberry-blowing rapscallion one of you.

The world needs you. May those weary wanderers athirst for a kind word in a desert of rudeness find comfort in your good-natured cheer. May the ascared and lonely find hope in the smiling eyes above your masks. May you bring laughter to those in desperate need of a healthy guffaw. May the the bigots, bullies, braggarts, and busybodies be transformed by your irrepressible, irresistible joy and good will.

Polish your kazoos, bring out the whoopee cushions, don your Groucho glasses and your Lucy wigs – avail yourselves of every tool in your Humoristian bag of tricks – and go out there and work your magic!
Karen “Wingoof-Wingoov” Molenaar Terrell