Lunchtime Walks

The sunshine called to me this week during lunch: “Karen… Karen… come out and play…” Here in western Washington we’ve had sparkly days of azure skies and fresh spring breezes; the daffodils are smiling at us; and blossoms are starting to pop open on the early-blooming fruit trees. How could I possibly resist a lunch-time walk downtown?

On Wednesday my feet led me to the walk along the Skagit River, down a side street, and then – as if propelled by their own power – my feet brought me to the Forte Artisan Chocolate store  in Mount Vernon. Yes. That’s right. It was my feet, I tell ya. My feet took me into the chocolate shop. And, of course, once I found myself in the chocolate shop I HAD to buy something, right? I chose two truffles and a chocolate-covered caramel and as the young man was bagging my chocolates up for me, he smiled and asked me if I was “Mrs. Terrell.”  And then he told me his name – and I realized that he was one of my former middle school students! Ohmygosh! It was so fun to see him again! Ryan had just come back from all kinds of amazing adventures in southeast Asia – and as he shared a little about his adventures with me I found myself grinning from ear-to-ear. I cannot tell you the pleasure it gives me to run into my old students and see the amazing lives they’re making for themselves. As I was ready to leave, Ryan said, “Come here!” and he came from behind the counter and gave me a big hug. I left the store with a smile on my face and a heart full of happiness. Also a bag of award-winning chocolate. For later. (It lasted two whole hours.)

It was another sunny day today, and I ventured back into downtown Mount Vernon during my lunch break. This time I bought myself a green-topped St. Patrick’s cupcake from the Shambala Bakery and Bistro. As I was leaving the bakery and heading back to school I ran into John the Peace Man. I’d met John a couple years ago when I’d joined up with the little group of weekly demonstrators in front of the Skagit County Courthouse to wave my “LOVE RULES” sign for an hour. The demonstrators have been standing out there every Friday at noon for years now – maybe decades. When I saw John I realized that he was probably walking to the noon-time demonstration, and fell into step beside him. When I got to the Courthouse I found my dear peacenik friends there, waving their signs. I love these folks.
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I brought sunshine and love back with me to school after my lunch-time walks this week. I’m thinking lunch-time walks on sunny days should be, like, a requirement for all teachers. Right?

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Heaven at the Colophon Cafe

Tucked into a little table for one
in a corner of the Colophon
Cafe after a brisk walk along
the windy wave-tossed bay –
I’m feeling mellow and at peace 
with life. It has been a lovely day.
The human-song falls and increases
in waves around me – soft exchanges,
and loud rolling laughter, female
and male blended together – ranges
from bass to soprano dance and sail
into my ears and gently tickle my soul.
In front of me a pot of steaming green tea,
African peanut soup, a soft, warm roll,
and slices of cheddar and Swiss cheese.
It is a moment of perfection.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

 

A Prayer for the World

Feel the gentle presence of Love
enfolding all of creation.
Feel the peace of Love
settling on the world.
Feel the power of Love
renewing everything good
and healthy in us.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

flower peace 2

O gentle presence, peace and joy and power;
O Life divine, that owns each waiting hour,
Thou love that guards the nestling’s faltering flight!
Keep thou my child on upward wing to-night.
– Mary Baker Eddy

 

One Hundred Years from Now

Did you know that in the 15th and 16th centuries people invaded countries, killed each other, and started wars over spices?! Yeah. That’s right. People killed each other over cinnamon and nutmeg. Today we might look back on those times and think, “What the hell?! Seriously?!”

And I’m thinking that 100 years from now when people look back on THESE times and learn that we invaded countries, killed each other, and started wars over oil, they’ll maybe say a 22nd century variation of “What the hell? Seriously?!” and they’ll ask in shock, “They killed each other over fossil fuels?!”

Or maybe they’ll be shocked that we hated each other for the color of our skin or our religion or our political party. Maybe when they learn that people of the 20th and early 21st century zipped alongside each other in earth-bound metal containers, traveling at speeds of 70+ mph, with only human-controlled steering wheels and brakes keeping us from colliding with each other, they’ll say, “Are you kidding me?! How did any of those people survive?!!”

When I try to picture the future, I like to picture a place of peace and equality. I like to picture a world that’s clean and fresh – powered by energy that doesn’t pollute and isn’t owned by corporations. Everyone has health care. Everyone has food and shelter and clean water and safety. People work because they want to work, and they spend their time creating art, music, poetry, beauty – nurturing the good in themselves and each other. No one is owned by Big Business. People don’t feel the need to claw and kick each other for the scraps that politicians throw under the table. Everyone has access to education, and information. And people are kind – they wouldn’t even think of being otherwise.

I like to think we can get to that future. Maybe I won’t live to see it, but I can be part of the wave that takes us there.

earth NASA

 

We Could

We could have a world where
children – all children
went to school and were safe
and didn’t need to worry
about losing their lives while
they tried to get an education

We could have a world where
all people – of every gender and race,
religion and age and political party
were treated equally, without bias
or discrimination or prejudice
or bullying, or bigotry

We could have a world where
everyone cared about protecting
the environment and the creatures
who share Earth and no one
tried to take more than they
needed, and people shared

We could have a world in which
we pooled our resources to feed
the hungry, and heal the sick,
and shelter the homeless, and
educate the ignorant, and reach
for the stars

We could
We could
We could

– Karen Molenaar Terrell

earth NASA

“The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother’s need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another’s good.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Waiting for the Christmas Spirit

Waiting for the Christmas Spirit

The kitsch and spangles
and baubles and bangles,
And department store Santa,
just really can’ta
Seem to bring me
the spirit of Christmas.

And I’ve been waiting to feel it –
the real Christmas spirit
Hoping it’d come by now.
The stockings are stuffed,
the tree is all buffed,
The cookies are baked
and frosted and fluffed
But there’s still something missing –
a feeling, a tingling
that’s supposed to come every Christmas.

Except…
Maybe that Christmas feeling,
that energy and tingling
Is something I can have every day –
It doesn’t depend on spangles,
or jingly-bell jangles
Or jolly men dressed all in red.
It comes in the sharing
of laughter and caring
And the comfort in words with love said:
To all – Peace! Joy! Hope!
Every moment of every day.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell, from The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Christmas Book

christmas tree 2015