Robin’s Egg

He comes towards me on the trail
– a big, brawny man with a bald head 
and tattoos on his arms. I turn away 
to take photos of the ferns on the forest
floor and when I turn back he’s passed me.
I glance back at the same moment he glances
back at me. He uses his walking stick
to point to a place on the path near me.
I turn in the direction he’s pointing –
not sure what he wants me to see –
and find myself looking at the remnants
of a tiny, fragile blue egg. A new nestling
has pecked open her shell. “Robin’s egg,”
the big man rumbles in his deep bass voice,
a sweet smile on his face. I smile back at him.
“It’s beautiful,” I say. “Yes, it is,” he agrees.
And he turns and continues down the trail.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

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Leaving a Wake of Kindness

My dear Humoristian hooligans –

I’ve been thinking about you, and feeling filled with gratitude, knowing you’re out there in the world, leaving a wake of kindness and love wherever you go. Wherever you are right now – whatever continent you’re on, or whatever ocean or sea – I know you will be working your magic today. You are transforming the universe. May your irrepressible joy bring hope to the hopeless. May the stodgy, stingy, and stuffy un-stodge and un-stuff themselves in the presence of your unstoppable silliness. May the bullies and bigots, bossybritches and busybodies, bellicose and benighted lose their fear and find their better selves in the power of your honesty and integrity. May you bring a good laugh to those desperately in need of a good laugh.
Amen.
Karen

When the Traffic Lights Don’t Work (and we don’t have a leader)

The power was out yesterday and some of the traffic lights weren’t working. But something really cool happened: At each traffic light I witnessed people being courteous to each other, taking turns, allowing those cars stuck on side streets to come into the flow. At one point the driver of the car to the left of me stopped to allow a car on a side street to enter traffic. In order for the car on the side street to enter, I had to stop, too, though – we all had to work together to help the car on the side street get into the flow.  There was no one directing traffic – no one standing in the intersection telling us when to go. But somehow we managed to take care of each other. 

And that’s what America looks like to me right now, too. We don’t have anyone directing traffic. We don’t have a leader who’s trying to help the people on the side streets get into the flow. We don’t have a leader who’s telling us when to stop, and showing us how to take turns and behave ourselves. We’re having to do that for ourselves.

What an incredible opportunity to find out who we are as human beings.

I Feel Her With Me

I feel her with me –
whenever I think of her,
she’s here. I feel her
when I’m kind and doing
something nice
for someone else.
I don’t feel her as eyes
watching me. Or as a ghost.
I don’t feel her as a physical
being at all. But I feel
the essence of her.
And I think she’s helping
me understand more
about who we are, really.
Not limited beings trapped
in these bodies, you know?
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

The Power to Transform the World

My dear Humoristian hooligans,

I’ve found that just when I’m feeling the most discouraged, the most battle-weary, the most ready to slip into morosity (I’m pretty sure that’s a word, right?) something or someone will suddenly appear to remind me that the world is still full of magic and beauty. Yesterday it was snow geese, trumpeter swans, a reflection in a flooded field, and a son appearing unexpectedly at the door with a grin on his face and a caring heart. Today it was a drive I hadn’t been planning to take with Dad. And some days it’s YOU. Yes, YOU. I wonder if you realize all the times a kind word or a moment of shared laughter has brought me back from the brink. There is such power in kindness. There is such power in a loving gesture. You have the power to transform the world.

May your kindness reach the desolate and lonely; May your sense of humor light on those in desperate need of a good laugh; May your good-natured love of life transform the stodgy, stingy, and stuffy.

Amen.
Karen

Mount Baker, a Red Barn, and a Reflection

Mount Baker reflected in a flooded field in Bow, Washington. (photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell)

Dear Humoristian Hooligans, thank you…

My dear Humoristian hooligans –

2017 has been kind of a challenging year, and it’s made me all the more grateful for you. Our world has been blessed by you. Thank you for bringing laughter into a world in sorry need of a good laugh. Thank you for your kindness, and your honesty. Thank you for caring. May your irrepressible good humor and love of life continue to bring magic to our planet. You were made for these times. You are meant to be here.

Karen

Beloved children, the world has need of you, —and more as children than as men and women: it needs your innocence, unselfishness, faithful affection, uncontaminated lives.
– Mary Baker Eddy

perfect-time

Sexual Harassment

Dear class,

I’m wondering how many upstanding, well-meaning men are looking back on their lives right now and trying to remember if they’ve ever unintentionally done anything that might be seen as sexual harassment. And if you’re one of those men who’s going through the files in your head – trying to remember if you’ve ever done something that might have caused someone else to feel uncomfortable or awkward – bless your heart. I’m guessing you’re no Sen. Moore or Harvey Weinstein. I’m pretty sure neither of those guys have ever spent a lot of time going through the files in their heads, self-reflecting. (And if you found you’ve done something you now regret, don’t do it again, okay? Onward and upward.)

On another note – it might be helpful if we could all identify the difference between flirting and harassment: I think sexual harassment is a one-sided thing – one person gets something from someone else without regard to what that other person wants or needs. Sexual harassment leaves the victim feeling humiliated, disrespected, and/or repulsed. Flirting, on the other hand, is a back-and-forth thing – everyone involved WANTS to be involved.

Be kind to one another. Be thoughtful. Be decent. Do right by each other.
– Mrs. T.