Summer Showers and Mushrooms

Good old-fashioned afternoon rain storms have finally brought relief from the drought that has oppressed this area for months. It feels like the summer rains of my childhood. The rumble of distant thunder slowly coming closer, the gentle pattering that is a refreshing warning for the harder drenching rain that the earth so loves. As a child, I ran and danced with my cousins, welcoming the pelting chilling affect, so in contrast to the sweltering heat that drove us inside to read comic books beneath ceiling fans. The rain brought energy and new life almost daily.

Recent rains have brought mushrooms of all sorts – pushing up overnight through the soggy layers of last summer’s leaves. These days – as I amble out with the dogs – I discover the newly emerged and delight in their varied forms – some as smooth and delicate as baby skin, some in vivid colors that seem to warn one to stay away. I am not a connoisseur of mushrooms or toadstools. I appreciate them aesthetically and their appearance can spark my imagination. One evening I spotted this one glowing magically against decaying leaf matter. My first thought wasn’t mushroom, it was newly forming fetus – or even sleeping child. It roused a reverence in me that caused me to stand and gaze in wonder at its perfect form. I wanted to be what I was seeing if only for a moment: newly forming, innocent, completely trusting.

Of course my dogs were ready to move on. Leashes were taut and vibrating with canine eagerness. Noses were glued to the ground, absorbing scents that were as fascinating to them as the sight that I had been so moved by was to me. I held the sight and its effect in my memory throughout our walk, and back at the house I grabbed my camera and returned to record what I had seen. To me it was a gift – an icon of sorts. I wanted a reminder of its message.

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2 Responses to “Summer Showers and Mushrooms”

  1. Christopher Says:

    Great entry, Leif! I can feel and smell and hear that rain, and those beautiful mushrooms with their (yes!) baby skin.

  2. leiflife Says:

    Thank you, dear Christopher for your RESPONSE. I am reminded of that lovely time when “DANCING WITH MY FATHER” was coming into being. I so counted on your response to those pieces as I wrote them. They seemed more alive when you – who had such a strong feeling for my father – had read them. I am still thankful to you, my friend.

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