This is an enormous cauliflower mushroom. I was out looking for chanterelles and found it instead. I had seen them in field guides, but had never found one. It was large enough to easily share with my fellow mushroom hunters and a few neighbors too. And it was delicious!
I’m not a serious mushroom hunter. We go occasionally to a spot we know that’s good for chanterelles. That day, I hadn’t found much, so I decided to get off the usual path. I half-walked and half-slid down a rather steep slope. It was lovely down there, but no chanterelles. The slope was a lot steeper going back up than it seemed going down. Steep enough that I had to grasp trees and shrubs to keep from sliding back and to have to stop and rest a few times. And steep enough to grumble to myself a little . . . then, with my nose almost to the ground, trying to get uphill . . . this treasure appeared.
This is why I love to go outside and experience the natural world. There are so many gifts and treasures to find if I can be quiet and slow down enough to appreciate them.
I can’t say that I have a well-defined bucket list. In fact, I kind-of resist the notion. I want to be open to what comes, rather than fixed on a single goal. I want to live with my head up and my heart open. Head up to see what is possible. Heart open to be grateful for what is in front of me. I want to live like the poet Rilke suggests:
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves . . . Perhaps you will then gradually . . . live along some distant day into the answer.”