This weekend, we took to the woods to learn how to find mushrooms. We had a gorgeous day, and the woods were eager to share their treasures. Our guide took us off-trail, taught us to let nature lead us. We looked for open, mossy spaces, free of tangled undergrowth, the places where mushrooms want to grow.
Every species has its ideal conditions for growth, he told us.
I thrive in these cool, damp, shadowed woods.
I would like to unwind time like a ball of wool, get back to the unformed part of myself and let her know: not every creature thrives under the sun. There is a place where the soft, deep parts of you can live.
Give me the quiet, secret spaces. Let me hear birds and rain at their work, follow truth like a deer trail through the trees.
A long time ago I lived under a steely sun, among false prophets, confident of voice and reasonable-eyed. They said the path to truth was too difficult to find, I would lose my way. They taught me to harden and to doubt.
But now I know truth spreads itself secretly underground, waits on every trail, waits for me to arrive and take it up at the right time.
I am un-hardening, un-doubting. I am looking closely for what’s real, what emerges from the fern-soft ground.
It was the Romans who taught us that time is a line stretching forward, but the Greeks believed time was a circle that comes around and back again. Perhaps that unformed girl is here, only waiting for me to come back round to her.
Perhaps she will step out now into this kinder world, perhaps she will find a place to fruit and grow soft under this understanding sky.