Nothing says fall to me like piles and piles of Chanterelle mushrooms. This year they have started early and I am celebrating being able to hunt in dry weather. I love the mystique of mushroom hunting, the secret locations, returning to old familiar stomping grounds, the same tree stump year after year. I love the excitement of finding a hidden cluster, the leading edge of one mushroom turning into a pound with some careful brushing aside of debris. With time, I have learned patience in the hunt, knowing that two hours of futility can be reversed with one or two good finds. I also know that nothing in life is a guarantee and I should be cautious about taking my harvest personally, skill and experience may help, but in the end luck always seems to to win. More than anything though, the autumn hunt encourages me to slow down, step off the trail, and look closely at the forest, to scrutinize it with a clarity and openness that I rarely accomplish charging up the trail, a destination as my goal. I appreciate this annual reminder of the complexity of things and the need to pay attention. The journey, after all, is only one part of our experience.
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