There’s all kinds of magic happening today! I drove up the North Cascades Highway to Concrete to run an errand (and give myself an adventure). As I was pulling into Concrete who should I see but John “Wizard” Bromet the Peace Man! Whoah!! I pulled over and grabbed my “PEACE JUSTICE KINDNESS “ sign out of the back of my car and joined him at the bus stop. We laughed and talked and sang together for a few minutes and then took a quick selfie. It was totally magic to run into John up there! -Karen Molenaar Terrell
Earlier I posted, for my friends, a photo of an agate I found on a walk around the block. Here’s a little more about that:
I’d been watching the Seahawks-Buccaneers football game on television. It was down to the last two minutes. I could see my beloved Seahawks were not going to win this one, but I was, weirdly, okay with that. They’d played well in the last half and I was proud of them.
It looked beautiful outside, though – sunny and autumnal – and I didn’t want to waste even one more moment in front of the TV. So I zipped up my coat and went outside to see what I might find out in the great outdoors.
I lifted my face to the sun and just soaked in the warmth. I actually felt like I was breathing in sunshine (maybe I’ll write a poem about that some time). And… I felt this… rightness with the world. I felt immediately enveloped in Love – pure, whole, unlimited, universal, undiluted Love. And I thought of my friends and family and brought all of the people I know into that hug of Love with me.
And then I looked down onto the street, and found this agate just sitting there, waiting for me, glowing up at me in the sunshine.
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
Maybe 25 years ago, in a magic encounter, a woman in Sedro gifted me with crocosmia bulbs. I planted them in our then home and then dug them up and bought them to Bow when we moved here 20 years ago. I planted them by a stump. Over the years the stump got overgrown and the crocosmia stopped blooming. I sort of forgot about them. But today – look what popped out to say “hi”!
Here’s an excerpt from Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist in which I describe how I acquired these crocosmia:
On my daily walks of five years ago I use to pass this beautiful yard that looked like a park. There were islands of flowers everywhere, all aesthetically placed and pleasing to the eye. It was obvious that the hand of a professional was at work there. But for months I never saw anyone actually working in the garden. I was intrigued. The flowers that most caught my eye in this garden were the long sprays of flame-orange crocosmia that shot out of the islands. I’d never seen this type of plant before – or if I had, I’d never noticed it – but they were hard to miss in this garden.
I found myself lusting after them. Weeks went by and the crocosmia were on their last legs when I finally met the owner of the garden. She was directing a handful of children in the weeding of her garden when I first saw her. She was pretty, lively, and had an aura of positive energy about her, and she was directing her child-helpers from a wheelchair. I walked up to her, shook her hand, introduced myself, and told her I’d been admiring her bright orange flowers for weeks. Laughing, she agreed that they were, indeed, beautiful. She told me they were called “crocosmia” and generously offered to give me some bulbs in the autumn. She didn’t have to offer twice. She gave me her card – I learned she worked at the University of Washington – and told me to call her in October and she’d dig some bulbs up for me.
When October came I was too shy to call. So I just kept walking by her house, hoping she would see me and recognize me. This was a long shot, I knew. This woman was a busy lady and probably met a lot of people on a daily basis – if she even remembered who I was it would be a miracle. But, as we learn in Christian Science, miracles (or rather natural goodnesses) do happen! There came a day when the garden lady was out in her yard as I walked by. She looked up, immediately recognized me, and told me that now was the perfect time to dig up some crocosmia bulbs.
I came home from that walk with a plastic bag brimming with bulbs, feeling like I’d just robbed a candy store. When we moved to Bow several years later and built our new house, I planted those bulbs in my Secret Garden. I think of that pretty lady with the lively spirit, and her generosity to me.
I’m getting ready to publish Cosmic Connections: Sharing the Joy. This book has been really fun to work on. I got to revisit a lot of really magical moments.
Here’s an excerpt: Magic at Tweets
I have had a most weird and wonderful morning. I rode my bike over to Tweets in Edison for breakfast – and magic happened!
I brought my vanilla breve out onto the back deck to wait for my breakfast muffin, and was greeted by one of my former eighth graders, Reed, who was sitting with his sister and friends at one of the little tables out there. It was so fun to see Reed again – it’s always a kick to see my students all grown-up and making amazing lives for themselves. Magic!
I sat down at the table next to Reed and his friends and sipped my breve and watched life happen. Soon a young woman came out onto the deck, looking for a place to sit. There were no more tables out there, so I asked her if she’d like to share my table. She sat down and we chatted for a bit – I learned Marlo lived in Bellingham, was majoring in English at Western Washington University (what a coinky-dink! – my youngest son is also majoring in English at WWU!), and worked at the Woods Coffee shop in Boulevard Park – one of my favorite stops when I’m in Bellingham. Marlo’s friend, Hannah, joined us then and we chatted a bit more – she, too, is a student at WWU, majoring in graphics design.
As we talked and laughed together another former student of mine walked by, and smiled and gave me a hug – it turns out he works at Tweets now! Magic!
When Reed and his friends left I moved over to their table so Marlo and Hannah could have their own table. And then another woman came out on the deck looking for a table for her and her partner, Joe. I told her that, if she liked, they could join me at my new table, and they did. Liesyl and Joe were very cool – they’d traveled to Edison from Seattle on scooters! We talked about their scooter adventures, where they came from, and where they were going. Liesyl mentioned that she’d once lived in Bow (the little community I live in now) – her father had been a minister at the United Methodist church in Bow. And here comes even MORE magic…
Thirty-one years ago – before we’d ever suspected we’d someday be living in Bow – my husband and I were married in Gig Harbor (a town two hours away) by a minister who’d once been a Methodist minister in Bow. “Is your dad’s name ‘Russ’?” I asked her. Her mouth fell open and she nodded yes. “Is his last name ‘Meyer’?” I asked, and she said yes! “Your dad was the minister who married my husband and me 31 years ago in Gig Harbor!” I told her. And I told her about the wedding – how her dad’s sense of humor had fit right in with our event – and how he’d seen us laughing and yukking it up with our friends at the reception and told us that some couples he worries about – but that he knew we’d be alright.
Liesyl told me her dad had passed on suddenly fifteen years ago – and I was sad to hear this. We shared stories with each other, then, about her dad and celebrated him as we ate breakfast together.
As I was leaving I stopped to ask the man who had taken my order if I could take his picture for my blog. He graciously agreed. I asked him his name – he said “Charles” – and we realized that we were actually already Facebook friends. I’d been enjoying his posts and comments for many months! I love that!
(Here’s the photo I’m going to use for the cover.)
Something really magical happened in Bellingham this morning – actually, many magical things happened in Bellingham this morning, but let’s start with THIS one:
As I was walking along the shore in Boulevard Park I looked across the green and saw a man on the other side, in the parking lot, moving in a way that made me think he was maybe doing tai chi. I love how people move when they’re doing tai chi and I’d like to learn how to do that myself – so I started trying to follow his movements – I raised my arm when he raised his arm, I turned when he turned – and at some point he recognized what I was doing and we smiled at each other across the park. When I walked around the park to the other side I thanked him and then… I’m not sure how this happened, exactly – but the next thing I knew he’d raised his hand to mine and we were dancing! In the parking lot. At Boulevard Park. That’s what he’d been doing all along – he’d been dancing! I could hear the music then – it sounded like an Asian waltz – I know I’m not explaining this well, but… the notes were D, F, G, B flat, G… for those of you who have a scale in your head. (“A Scale in Your Head” would make a great title for a book, wouldn’t it?)
It was cosmic!. We danced around the parking lot for a few minutes. And then I thanked him – he smiled – I don’t think he spoke English – and let me take a picture of us together.
I was still thinking about my waltz in the park when I got to the parking lot above the boardwalk. And then this deer walked across the road – and a little spotted fawn suddenly appeared, too, skipping along behind her. All of us who were walking along the road just stopped and watched them pass. “Well, THAT was magic,” I said. And this man smiled at me and said, “Isn’t that a great way to start the day?!”
And there was an eagle – soaring right above me! And… and… well, here are some pictures from my morning… – Karen Molenaar Terrell
What magic will we find between the book ends
of today? What adventures await between sunrise
and sunset? We’ve been gifted another day
to love, to learn, to live, to care. Let’s make it
happen, people! Places, everyone! And… action!
– Karen Molenaar Terrell
Yesterday I stopped by my folks’ former home, an assisted living place, to see if there was any old mail to pick up. When I got there I realized the annual silent art auction for Alzheimer’s was going on. I sauntered around, looking at paintings – and one, in particular caught my eye. It was bright and vibrant – a painting of houses and boats reflected in water – and the artist – the signature read “Kelly Anderson” – used a technique of blocking in sections with different shades that was really cool. This painting called to me. I didn’t bid on it then – I thought if I was still thinking about it the next day (today) I would come back in and make a bid.
Today I was still thinking about it. So I drove back to the assisted living place to take a look at the painting again, and put in a bid. But once I got there I discovered the auction was already over and the paintings were all gone. I was disappointed, but figured it just wasn’t meant to be.
As I was getting ready to leave I saw one of Moz and Dad’s old friends walking by and re-introduced myself to her. She seemed happy to see me and we gave each other a hug. I told her that I’d come in to bid on a painting, but it looked like the auction had ended yesterday. Yes, she said, it had – she’d actually won the bids on two paintings which had been delivered to her room that morning. She said she’d also been given one of my Dad’s paintings which had been found in a rummage sale – but it hadn’t been signed by Dad. I told her I could ask Dad to sign it for her. Her eyes lit up at the idea of that, and we headed up to her room to retrieve Dad’s painting.
Dad’s painting was leaning against the wall on top of a soffit. It was too high up for me to reach so I started looking around for a chair that I could maybe stand on to get the painting. When my eyes scanned past the couch, I did a double-take. Sitting on the couch was the painting that I’d seen yesterday and that I’d been hoping to bid on! “That’s the painting I wanted to bid on!” I told my friend. She told me that was one of the paintings she’d won in the auction. “We have good taste,” I told her, smiling.
She said she’d give me this painting in exchange for Dad’s autograph on his painting. But I asked her how much she’d paid for the auctioned piece, and then gave her a check for $10 more than she’d bid. I was so excited to be re-united with that picture!
We didn’t find a chair for me to stand on, but my friend used the painting I’d just bought from her to nudge Dad’s painting closer to me until it dropped into my arms.
She was so pleased to use the one painting to get the other, and I was so pleased to have the painting I’d set my eyes on yesterday. What were the odds?! “Magic!” I told her, and she nodded her head in happy agreement.
Yup, I am still up. Before I go to bed I wanted to send out a message to you to tell you how very glad I am to know you are on this planet with me. If you’re feeling discouraged or ascared or alone – know that you have a whole community of people who are working for the same things you’re working for, who care, and who are blest by your kindness. You have a reason to be here – a purpose. You are here to love and to spread laughter. You are a hero. So don that cape and those tights. Put on the Groucho glasses and play the kazoo. You have work to do, my hooligan friends. Go out there and spread your magic. I mean.You know. After you get a good night’s sleep.