Of Monsters and Morels
Some days become a part of your legend.
I've been waiting for weeks to tell you this grand tale of adventure, of a season like I've never known, when I found more morels than I'd thought possible and ate tender (I swear, tender) monster asparagus so big it seemed nearly unreal. But here it is, already summer, and the words haven't yet come. Perhaps sometimes, there just aren't any.
What I can tell you is that this last spring, I was filled with a sense of wonder and abundance like I've never known. Hardcore happiness, the real thing. And the natural world reflected it back upon me. I stood at the edge of the woods, with some of the friends I hold most dear, and witnessed morels pop up, first here, then there, then everywhere I laid my eyes, and in clusters of 20 or more, like the Hollywood big budget film version of morel hunting. We squealed, we danced, we got soaked with rain and told tales of our loved ones lost (Gran, it's always you). We ate mushrooms 20 which ways to to Sunday. We came down with hellish cases of poison ivy.
It was epic.
I just wrote this story for Zester Daily all about how foraging, at its heart, isn't so much about the glamorous finds as it is about what is weedy and abundant. I believe that, I do. But spring also reminded me why I keep going back out, why foraging is bone-deep, why it saturates even my sleep-time. There are times when wildcrafting slams you right against the beating heart of this planet, tears back the curtains, and gives you a glimpse of the Big Answer.
So yes, absolutely forage for food, and for ecology, and economy, and all of the other really great reasons you can list. But never forget to forage for the magic of it, too. Love the heck out of the land, inspire others to do the same. I believe that having a passionate affair with the land may be our only chance to preserve it.
I'm sorry that I never found the words to paint the pictures for you. But I have a feeling that over the years, they will come, as all good legends do.
|I count 13 morels in this frame. How many do you see?|
|Think that's ordinary asparagus? Look again. Compare it to the size of my hand.|
|A morel "nest."|