You know what? My new fungi friends have been popping up everywhere since Monday! I went for several hikes this week and found a vast array. Mushrooms of all sorts; orange ones and frilled ones, delicate tiny perky ones, large loafing drooping draping ones all popping up from no where to show themselves to me. The conditions are just right, I guess, so they seem to be appearing put of nowhere, there were some so tiny and abundant in my path, I had to zipper along the trail to avoid them. Are they new to these places? No. The truth is these mysterious things, these little beauties; rare wonders have always been there. But like so much in life, until I start looking they do not bother to reveal themselves to me. I had a similar experience about two years ago with birds. It’s not that I hadn’t noticed birds of course, but I hadn’t been seeing each one distinct and beautiful, I hadn’t really been paying attention.
Pay attention! The dictionary gives 5 definitions of attention 4 of which illustrate my point. 1. concentration: mental focus, serious consideration; 2. interest: notice or interest; 3. appropriate treatment: care, tending; 4. affectionate act: a polite considerate or affectionate act. And we all know the definition of pay but in this sense the 7th definition to “bestow attention” is what’s fitting. When we really attend to something to truly bestow our attention, then something is revealed. Something is revealed that was hidden in plain view.
I am in no way an expert on mushroom hunting and can’t even be called a novice (it’s best to be an expert when seeking mushrooms don’t you think) but I’m fascinated with the idea of searching for these delicacies. There are some mushrooms that can be cultivated the ubiquitous button mushroom of course and all the others we see in the market, but many defy cultivation and can only be enjoyed by finding them in the wilds. There are many people who have their secret places and go only stealthy to protect their secrets. If any of you read Micheal Pollan’s book Omnivores Dilemma then you probably were as fascinated by the mushrooms foraging chapter as I was. A local woman, who knows her mushrooms, has offered to take me hunting here at The Bishop’s Ranch. I rub my hands in anticipation. I’ve never had any interest in hunting animals but this hunt sounds wonderful. Searching for these mysterious delicacies right under our noses. Seeking, paying attention, looking with eyes softened to see what is in plain view.
So much of life is like looking for mushrooms. We must attend to them, we must do a bit of searching, find them where they are, mystery and wonder abound we just have to be looking.
After last weeks emotional posts I didn’t think I could come up with anything to say but here I am filling up the page again. Thanks for the lovely and loving comments, emails and kind words many of you sent my way. Keep walking and seeking.