As the weather remains damp and the nights cool down, mountains of mushrooms explode across our landscapes, visibly growing almost as we watch them thrust up out of the grass, decaying leaves, and earthy humus.

mushrooms and DuncanUp at the Farm we saw several of these white-ish spires erupted near a blueberry patch. Imagine my surprise when I saw them at home this week. With puppies prancing, dancing, charging, and racing around the yard, these fragile structures don’t stand a chance.

mushroomsI don’t know why mushrooms fascinate me so. They evoke a variety of nocturnal imagery, eerily pale in the daylight, with sharply vivid oranges, intense tans, and pearly grays. In the moonlight they positively glow as if they are emitting light rather than reflecting it. Maybe it is how they spring forth out of dead and decaying material. Death supports new life.

AliInto this stream of thought I got a call that a precious person I once knew very well had died. She had recently broken her hip and there were complications. A flood of memories filled my mind: her raspy voice, the smells of her baking, weekly bowling leagues, Saturday night poker, the New Years Eve Gong Show video, her bright blue eyes, her devotion to her children and grandchildren, her generous and unconditional acceptance of me and mine…

Ali will be so very missed. I have been so blessed for the years I shared with her and the connections made through her. I loved you Ali and love you still. Memories of you will live long and prosper.