Morning Companion at the Lake

in the quiet stillness of the morning
a lone duck grooms himself on a rock
near the shore of a lake as smooth
as obsidian
gold reflections of the forest swirl
around him as he plucks his feathers
and then leans over to drink
from the lake
and then throws his whole duck body
into the cool water for a morning bath
it is just him and me – me and the duck –
in companionable quiet, enjoying
the peace of the morning together
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Below: Lone duck at Lake Padden, Bellingham, Washington. Photos by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

Waiting to See What Will Appear

I sit at my laptop at 5:00 in the morning
waiting to see what will appear
and my poet-son (“Stealthman”) quietly joins
me with his notebook and pen and sits near.
Poet-son and his love looked at apartments
yesterday and I know they’ll be moving out soon –
I know wherever they are they will bloom.
The cats are fed and one puts his paw on me
and meows for me to stroke his hair
while the other watches us from the top of a chair –
watching the poet-son and me
as we wake and write and type.
I feel it. The day is just starting, and ripe
with possibilities of what might be.
I enjoy this perfect moment, with the cats
and the son close by me.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

“To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings.”
-Mary Baker Eddy

Cat’s Pause: A Homonym Poem

The calico jumped on-two my covers as eye red
inn bed this mourning, and curled buy my feat.
Soon her little bro joined her up their. Calico
licked the we won’s face four a thyme and then
they were wrestling and boxing, and calico
was on her back, her pause rapped around
her we brother’s neck, while her back feat
playfully pushed against his wriggling bawdy.
He escaped and pounced on her a-knew and the too
of them bounced and bounded oar hour bed –
letting mi no it was thyme to get up and feed them.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

A New and Sparkling Morning

“On that first morning when the sky was blue again Mary wakened very early. The sun was pouring in slanting rays through the blinds and there was something so joyous in the sight of it that she jumped out of bed and ran to the window. She drew up the blinds and opened the window itself and a great waft of fresh, scented air blew in upon her. The moor was blue and the whole world looked as if something Magic had happened to it. There were tender little fluting sounds here and there and everywhere, as if scores of birds were beginning to tune up for a concert. Mary put her hand out of the window and held it in the sun.”
– Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Woke up to one of those dazzling mornings that just makes your heart sing and your body want to immerse itself in the Great Outside. The birds were chirping, the air smelled of blooming things and lawn newly-mowed, and the sky was a vivid, vivid blue. I quickly got dressed and hopped on my bicycle to ride into the little town of Edison for breakfast.

I need to preface what I’m about to say with this: When I was a young girl I lost a friend who was hit by a car while riding his bike. In those days nobody wore helmets. My friend might still be alive today, if he’d been wearing a helmet. Helmets are a good thing, and I would advise everyone to wear one.

This morning I completely forgot to put on my helmet. I wondered at the freedom I was feeling – everything sounded so clear to me! And my vision seemed to be wider. And I could feel my hair blowing behind me. It felt amazing. It wasn’t until I was half-way to Edison that I realized why I was feeling so free. So – yeah, always wear your helmet – but if you should happen to forget your helmet, then you might as well take advantage of your memory lapse and get something good out of it, right?

I had no idea what time it was, and when I reached the place I’d originally intended to go I found it wasn’t open, yet. Quick change of plans. The Edison Cafe was open, so I coasted there instead. I called my son to see if he wanted to join me for breakfast, and he said he’d be right over.

While I waited for the son, I took in the people who were already sitting in the cafe with me. There was an older gentleman – probably in his late eighties or early nineties – eating a plate piled high with what looked to be eggs and hash browns. And sitting at the counter was a father with his young son – the youngster looked to be about four or five, and was still wearing his jammies.  The father was reading the comics, and I saw his son point to one of the comic strips and ask, “But it doesn’t really look like him, does it, Dad?” And then I heard the father explain cartoons to his son, and watched him point to the words in one of the cartoons as he read them out loud to his boy. Wow! I felt really privileged to be witness to a youngster being introduced to the idea of “comics” for the first time! That was an event, to be sure. (Before they left, I heard the father say to the son, “Okay, when we get home I’m going to watch the ballgame, and you’re going to mow the lawn.” That had me cracking up.)

My son arrived and ordered his breakfast. While we waited for our orders, my son said, “I learned something really cool last night. Watch this…” and he took one of the paper napkins, folded down a side, rolled it up like a tube, twisted and pulled and made me a paper rose, complete with a stem and leaf! I looked over at the older man, and held up the rose for him to see – “Look at what my son made me!” I said, and he smiled and nodded his head. So then I made a rose out of a napkin – and I walked over to the older gentleman and gave it to him. He grinned and thanked me, and a little while later – when he put on his beret and ascot scarf to leave the restaurant – he made sure to take the paper rose with him. He saluted me with the rose and thanked me before he left.


Paper Rose Made By Son

When I got home, I grabbed my Kindle and headed back to my Secret Garden to read a bit more of mountaineer Joe Simpson’s The Beckoning Silence. I could hear the birds rustling around in the hedge and singing, a dragonfly landed on my shoulder for a moment – just long enough to greet me and acknowledge my presence there – and the sun shone its warmth down on me through the butterfly bush, and the climbing rose, and the grape arbor. I had a lovely time back there.


Just had to share my morning. 🙂

Birdsong and Crepes

Eat well, sleep well, and do everything well.
– Bicknell Young (from The Collected Writings of Bicknell Young)

And I now bring you a moment from my perfect morning… 🙂

Crepes made with eggs from our little hens and raspberries from the garden…

Karen's Crepes

Karen’s Crepes

Sitting with my crepes on the back deck, listening to the morning birdsong…