Kinship in a Grin and a Nod

A runner jogged up the boardwalk
from the other direction and got caught
behind three laughing young women
and a dog stretched to the end of his leash
across the width of the boardwalk, oblivious 
to the runner behind them, and oblivious
to me in front of them. The runner stopped
and waited and caught my eye and smiled
and I smiled back as I halted for the trio
and their dog to move past me. Then when
we were both finally able to move again,
the runner and I acknowledged our kinship
with a grin and a nod, and continued on
our respective journeys along the boardwalk
in the sunshine on a sunny autumn day.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell


I learned some cool stuff on my walk around Lake Padden today. As I passed a couple of women in animated conversation walking the other direction, I heard one woman say to the other one, “There will be people with their noses pressed up against your window…” and I had to know what they were talking about, right?

So I asked, “Why will people be pressing their noses up against your window?”

And the woman who was the subject of the noses-pressed-against-her-window said that she’s been reading these books by a Canadian author named Louise Penny – and these books are wonderful! And she’s been telling all her friends about them.

“Are these cozy murder mysteries? I love cozy murder mysteries.”

The two women looked at each other and finally one of them said, “Well, they’re cozy, yes – but maybe not in the way you’d expect.”

Perfect! I just ordered the first one for my Kindle!

Then as I was stopped on the trail waiting for some really exuberant dogs to be pulled away from each other by their respective owners, I looked up and there was my old friend, Elena! I haven’t seen her for, like, a year! And we talked and chatted and she introduced me to her friend, Katie. That was fun.

A little further on, after I came out of the woods, I stood in a patch of sunshine for a few minutes to warm up my toes – which had started to become numb. A woman approached and I smiled and said, “Doesn’t the sun feel great?!” And she smiled back at me and agreed that it did. She had an accent of some kind – French maybe? – and she had a subtle fragrance that smelled of flowers. I usually try to avoid fragrances – but this one was really lovely – and I asked her what it was. She said it was Kenzo flower perfume. If I ever buy perfume, that will be the one I get.

As I was still standing in the sun, a man named Hans stopped to chat and told me (and I never knew this!) that sun is a sanitizer – and that vultures spread their wings in the sun to sanitize themselves.

I really like the idea of being sun-cleansed.

Today I was sun-cleansed and I met some really cool people, too.

(Below are some autumn reflections from Lake Padden today.)

An Evening’s Walk


“…in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength…” – Isaiah 30:15

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still, And there was a great calm. – Mark 4: 39

Evening. Mistiness of mortal though; weariness of mortal mind; obscured views; peace and rest. – from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy


I went for a walk this evening.  When I left the house, darkness was descending, but hadn’t completely fallen, yet. I’ve found that there is often a calm and quiet at that time of the day. Most people are safely ensconced in their homes, either making dinner or eating it, and I usually don’t run into anyone else on my evening walks. I have my rural neighborhood to myself, and there is usually peace.

But tonight I didn’t feel the peace right away. As I started my walk, I found myself replaying the events of the day. It had been a long one. The day had been filled with a lot of busy-ness, decisions, human opinion, and human dialogue.  In my head, I played over again the conversations, decisions, and opinions, and tried to determine my own place in all of it.  I probably could have spent my entire walk playing and replaying the events of the day, but something happened – I’m not sure what, exactly – that made the conversation in my head suddenly cease, and made me stop in my tracks.  And when I stopped a phrase from the Bible came to me: “Peace, be still…” 

The phrase from the Bible was followed by the reassuring words from an old hymn: “All will be well.”  Words from God, I thought, and then kind of mentally rolled my eyes at myself. No, I corrected myself, it’s just me talking to myself again, wanting to believe all will be well, and then telling myself it’s God talking to me. Yeah… but , I argued, isn’t any thought that brings me peace or reassurance or hope a message from Love, God? If God is just another name for Love, Truth, and Life, as Mary Baker Eddy says in the Christian Science textbook, then isn’t any thought that comes from Love, Truth, and Life a message from God? Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “The intercommunication is always from God to His idea, man.”  And, if she’s right about this, wouldn’t that mean that the only true communication, the only real communication, the only communication that ever matters, is the communication that comes from Love, Truth, and Life?

Peace, be still.

I stopped arguing with myself, and listened.  The frogs were croaking a song in the field next to me.  A breeze rustled the branches overhead.  A flock of ducks took off from the pond on the other side of the road, and I could hear their wings flapping.  The silhouette of an owl launching itself from a tree caught my vision.  And I could smell the faint scent of spring blossoms in the air. And it occurred to me that maybe all these things were examples of God communicating to me.  In fact, maybe Love and Life are continually sending me messages of peace and hope, and I just need to stop and listen.

All will be well, the voice came again.  There may be challenges ahead.  There may be storms and confusion, sorrow and pain – but – look at me – keep your eyes on me – all will be well.  Okay, I said, nodding my head. I’ll keep my eyes focused on Love. I’ll keep my ears tuned in to Truth. I’ll walk with confidence through the days ahead.  All will be well. All, all is well.

By the time I’d finished my conversation with myself, it was dark. In a few minutes I would be back home, the phone would ring – and I would discover that the day’s busy-ness, conversation, and human opinions were not yet finished with me.  But I’d gained something on my evening’s walk – I had something now that I hadn’t had when I’d walked out the door forty minutes before.  I had peace.


We expect a bright tomorrow,

All will be well;

Faith can sing through days of sorrow,

All must be well;

While His truth we are applying,

And upon His love relying,

God is every need supplying,

All, all is well. – Mary Peters