This is the story of a search for morel mushrooms. Twice I went looking…Twice I returned empty-handed.But, in process of closely examining large stretches of forest floor in vain, I did make a lot of other wonderful discoveries. Once, I sat quietly staring into a stand of fiddleheads so long, a grouse thought I’d left and started drumming his log within ten feet of me. For just a minute, I thought my heart was palpitating—until I realized that he was really just that close. Then he exploded suddenly off into the woods when I tried to shift to a spot with a better view, which is, incidentally, when my heart rate did increase.I nearly stepped on the elaborate den of some creature (I’d like to imagine it a fox den, but it more likely belongs to far less charming skunks), and happened upon a wolf track, perfectly dried and preserved in last week’s mud. I chanced upon a place where jack-in-the-pulpits preached in a woodland meadow to spears of blue flag leaves……and another where the wild plums were wreathed in clouds of frilly white.I didn’t find what I was looking for—but I did find so much more.
The search for the elusive edible delicacies of the forest will continue. One day, I’ll find what I’m actually looking for—and we’ll fry them up in butter and eat them—but even after that it will continue, because then they’ll be gone and we’ll want more. It’s one of those kind of searches, never ending, always new, always exciting. The desire is insatiable. If you don’t like morel mushrooms, I’m sorry that you won’t be able to identify with this, but if you do, you know what I mean.
And along the way, the search is always guaranteed to be fruitful.
Because, see, regardless of whether I came home with mushrooms or not, I did come home with my head and camera full of spring’s splendor flung glorious across the forest. (Such riches!) And I did find information to help me with future searches. (Now I know where they’re not, sigh.)
It reminded me, in a happy, unexpected sort of way, of another ongoing search I’ve been challenged to, one in which I continually search for one thing of great value and end up with so much more along the way.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)