Today we went on a very successful morel hunt with my brother Chris, sister-in-law Lara, and their son Julien. We ventured into the Gousty woods, and Ellen found the first morel of the day. Describing her mushroom in a most matter-a-fact tone, she said, "I saw a little squiggly thing, so I looked down to check if it was a morel. It was a morel, so I picked it."
Ahh, Ellen. If only life were so wonderfully simple. And yet it's true that a morning in the woods with people I love was just what I needed today. Everything did feel right with the world when we were mushroom hunting. As Chris pointed out: finding morels is a lesson in scarcity. The beauty, the wonder in scarcity. Finding even one little lone soldier is exciting. Everyone crowds around to have a look.
Finding a cluster of two or three brings everyone down on their hands and knees. Little people have an advantage here, I think. Morel hunting is slow work, and it helps to be close to the ground.
Also, morel mushrooms look remarkably like gnome hats, hiding miniature people trooping along the forest floor. Maybe this is part of their appeal to the younger ones.
Sometimes the most precious things are the most fleeting. At least it helps to hold them in our hands for a moment.