The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
by db Conard, The Quill
For many this is a special time of year when the Morels are starting to be discovered. Its like an Easter egg hunt for adults, only better.
It was the day before yesterday that I headed for the timber and familiar grounds in my own annual quest for treasure. Where I go it doesn't take long to disappear from the sights and sounds of civilization. The forest of new leaves dampen any sound from a distance, and leave me for the most part with only nature.
There is no other way to describe Sunday as a perfect day. Everywhere I turned to focus my attention I found something that was interesting.
Paths that I had cleared last fall were still open with little winter debri and only the first signs of spring growth. It would not be long before they would be lost back to the forest.
For me there is always an adjustment time as I move into the woods. There is no easy way for me to describe the change that I find in myself as I shift my focus from the noise of the world to the natural songs of nature.
As my focus is narrowed to scanning the ground around me, everything slowly starts to change as I become aware of what I am actually looking at, rather than just seeing with my eyes.
Anyone who is a mushroom hunter will know what I mean. We have all looked at a piece of ground and seen nothing only to look again and as if with different eyes seen gobs of mushrooms that we missed only moments before.
Sunday was one of those days when I found that little trick when my eyes seem to change their focus just a little bit, and by magic lets me discover the treasure I seek.
One of the real good things in life is that feeling I had as that first Morel came into view, and then as if by magic the whole area I had already searched rewarded me with just enough Golden Morels to fill the pockets of my vest, leaving no room to spare, yet no wasted space. It was more like a blessing than a find.
More than the battered and fried delicacies that will be enjoyed in the short time it takes to chew and swallow, there are other things to be held on to for much longer which are the noments of peace and transquility that I will carry with me in the days to come.
On Monday I received a call from a friend who sounded quite worried in that he was lost in the woods and couldn't find his way out. Luckily, he had his cell phone.
I thought I had a good idea where he might be so I headed out to find him. To make a long story short I covered as much ground in the woods as I had the day before, only this time when I found the far side of the forest my friend called to tell me that he had found himself, by coming out on a highway that he recognized and that all he needed now was a ride back to his car.
As I was retracing my steps to my truck, I had a good distance to think about my friend Paul's words and how he had said them.
"I found myself" could not have said it better for Paul, but also seemed to say it well for me when I considered my experience in the woods the day before.
As I was able to become focused, I realized it was because nature had helped me shed the distractions that all to easily clutters our lives blinding us to the treasure that is right in front of us.
The Morel season is really just starting for anyone who hopes to find more than just one kind of Treasure in the Heartland. Perhaps like Paul they may be able to yell out to say, "I found myself," as they focus closely and see all that surrounds them.