The other night, driving home from visiting my husband in hospital (he’s back home now), and being preoccupied as well as exhausted (now in my 5th year of chronic fatigue following swine flu), I thought I saw….
a nest of yellow mushrooms on the verge
archetypal mushrooms, curved hemispheric caps with glimpses of gills, some big, some small, little goldilocks mushrooms, some just right
and strikingly yellow, highlighter yellow, glowing and luminous in the afternoon sun, the delicate narrow stems also yellow, translucent
This was at a junction
I had hardly formed the thought to stop to photograph them when I dismissed it as, I’m too tired, it’s too hard to park, I don’t have the right lens, I can come back.
But now I can’t find them. Have they been mown down by the council? died already? Have I forgotten which route I took?
So that they are beginning to seem quite unreal, as if Beatrix Potter sketched them in there with her yellow paint (Googling ‘Beatrix Potter mushrooms’, I am amazed to find that she was a mycologist in fact. I can’t even find a good picture of them Googling ‘yellow mushrooms’. Although I’m interested to discover there is a yellow mushroom (Leucocoprinus birnbaumii) that pops up in houseplants. But the caps are too narrow to be mine. see here )
I am embarrassed to admit that what is to be found on our verges at this time of year in profusion is a bright yellow delicate flower. The colour is right but the shape is wrong and the stems aren’t yellow. Can’t find them on Google either.
So, did I imagine it? Am I living in a parallel universe just now?
Why is it bothering me? – so much that I’ve written all this and googled both the mushrooms and the wildflowers. Do mushrooms have special meaning? At last, Google kicks in:
’"There is a world beyond ours, a world that is far away, nearby, and invisible. And there is where God lives, where the dead live, the spirits and the saints, a world where everything has already happened and everything is known. That world talks. It has a language of its own. I report what it says. The sacred mushroom takes me by the hand and brings me to the world where everything is known. It is they, the sacred mushrooms, that speak in a way I can understand. I ask them and they answer me. When I return from the trip that I have taken with them, I tell what they have told me and what they have shown me."
Thus does the famous Mazatec shaman, Maria Sabina, reverently describe the god given powers of the intoxicating mushrooms that she uses in her ceremony which has come from from ages past.’ (ref )
So what do these mushrooms tell me? … don’t drive on past. Stop. Capture it with whatever you’ve got. However unsuitable the lens. This single chance, this moment may be all.