Investing Our Lives

Today I heard, again, the story of the servants
who were given a sum of money by their master,
with the expectation that the servants would increase
the sum and help their master prosper
while he was away on a trip.
There are times when I’ve heard this story
and felt sympathy for the man afraid of loss –
who buried his talent, afraid he would lose it,
afraid of his boss.
There are times when I’ve looked at the other servants –
the ones who increased the talents they were given
and wondered how they’d done that –
had they gotten involved in pyramid schemes
or the stock market or gambling
or something?

But today when I heard the story again,
another thought came to me: What if the talents
symbolize life itself?
What if we’ve all been given a life – one life, let’s say –
do we bury it in the dirt like the scared servant –
afraid of losing it? Is that the way?
Or do we let go and release
ourselves from fear
and witness the good increase –
watch it unfold and appear –
as we invest our lives in love, joy, truth
in the now and here.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell


An alpine butterfly flits among the flowers on Table Mountain. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

On the Clock Beside the Bed


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

Playing Like a Child Again

Finding magic within the bounds that life gives us
finding magic in the right here, and the right now –
in the sunlight and the rain, a walk around the ‘hood,
in a baby’s smile and a bird’s song and how
a butterfly flits towards the sun.
Creating adventures in the backyard
when life keeps us from the mountains,
bushwhacking through the overgrown garden,
imagining the birdbath is an Italian fountain.
Playing like a child again – simple, organic, free –
without a need to travel far, or for life to bigger be.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Everything I Need in Front of Me

What would it be like
To not be weighed down
With the detritus and memories
Of decades and generations ?
Hats and shoes and awards
Artwork and photos and earrings
Scarves and letters and books?
What if I just traveled like a turtle
With my home on my back
And everything I needed
In front of me?
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Love Has No Choice

Love has no choice but to love
Truth has no choice but to be true
Life has no choice but to live
I have no choice but to do
the will of my Creator
to express Love
reflect Truth
manifest Life
all we are comes from God
all we can be is what God made us to be –
happy, whole, healthy, and free
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

An alpine butterfly flits among the flowers on Table Mountain. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

“And Now You’re Saving Lives!”

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.

What’s Real Can Never Change or Die

So much has changed
in the last day, week, year –
and I feel great fear.
But then Clara Kitty curls
up on my lap and I see
Love is still here
and a butterfly flutters by
the window and flits
through the blue sky
and I feel Life moving ‘round
me in an eternal satisfied sigh.
Life and Love: what’s true
and real can never change
or die.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Spoiler Alert: This Has a Happy Ending

Spoiler Alert: This has a happy ending.

I have felt really stretched and fragile and on the edge the last little while. I know the last few years have been challenging for all of us – and we each have our own slant and perspective on the challenges. A lot of my perspective comes from the point of view of someone who is hard of hearing.

Imagine being someone who depends on hearing aids and smiles and reading lips and facial expressions to communicate with others. And then imagine lips and smiles being covered, voices being muffled through masks, and hearing aids getting all tangled up in mask strings and falling out. I have been conscientious about wearing a mask when I knew it was helping others and helping allay fears – I felt it was something I could do for the good of my community. But I think two years of feeling shut off from the voices and smiles of others had slowly pushed me to the breaking point. So when a loved one suggested I wear THIS kind of mask because it had THESE kind of strings that wouldn’t get tangled in my hearing aids – I reacted more strongly than I might have two years ago. NOOOOOOO!!!!! No, no, no, no, nope. I pointed out to my loved one that he has hair that’s an inch long – and I have hair to my shoulders – how was I going to get those strings through my hair? And and and… earrings, hearing aids, sunglasses…. NOOOOOOOOO…. it was, like, the last straw for me. I told my loved one I never, ever wanted to hear another word about masks. I’ll wear them when I need to, but I don’t want to talk about it. He got the message and we moved on to happier topics.

So a couple days ago a friend called for a chat on the phone. I have to take off my hearing aid when I’m on the phone so it doesn’t whistle at me. I was sitting in the dining room, picked up my hearing aid from the window sill, and moved to the family room while I was talking to my friend. And somewhere between the dining room and the family room I lost my hearing aid. I mean. It completely vanished. Disappeared. Poof. Gone.

I felt like I had finally broken. I wondered if I was going crazy. I had a kind of panic attack about it. I might have made a sort of cursory prayer about it – “there is nothing lost that won’t be found” and “nothing is lost to God or outside Her consciousness” and “everything is exactly where it needs to be – nothing is misplaced in God’s universe” – but really, I felt like I couldn’t even deal with one more thing right then. So I gave up and went to bed and hoped for happy dreams about smiling unmasked faces.

Fast forward to Father’s Day. We’re all sitting around the table – the husband, the sons, and the sons’ wonderful wives – and I start talking about my missing hearing aid, and my youngest son gently taps me on the arm and says, “Kyla is wondering if that might be your hearing aid over there?” And I look over to where the son is pointing – and there’s my hearing aid! – sitting on top of a candle on the window sill!!! My daughter-in-law, Kyla, had been listening to me tell my story and her eyes had gone to the window sill behind me and she saw the hearing aid sitting right there!! (Insert the music of a heavenly choir here and rays of light shining down on the hearing aid.)

Hugs and rejoicing all around! For me, that hearing aid had come to be symbolic for my life, and it was found again!

Amen.

My Father-Mother never stopped loving me,
or took a break from being All-Good, everywhere.
She is always now, always here – Love Be-ing.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Dare to Live

Dear young friend,
I remember thinking my life was over
at your age
when he no longer loved me
I couldn’t imagine how I’d go on
how it would be
what the future would hold for me
I thought I’d never find anyone else
who would love me like he had
I imagined going through life alone
without love, without connection,
without a family or home
of my own

I wanted to die

And now here I am forty years later
and so grateful that relationship
didn’t last
because I wouldn’t have what I have now –
my family, my home, my career –
if that first relationship hadn’t crashed
and all the time between then and today
all the distance traveled
all the lessons learned
has made me see
what a laughably small part
that relationship held in my life
or my heart

dare to live
dare to move on and see
all the magic life holds yet for thee
as long as YOU can love
you have a reason to be
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

“This Moment I Lived and Breathed and Loved and Was.”

This moment you’re living and breathing,
loving and wondering and being.
Take note of this.
Mark it on your calendar with a grateful kiss.
“This moment I lived and breathed and loved and was.”
Because.
I could.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell