5.31.2011

Goodbye my May

I've always been really thankful for rhythms, cycles, patterns.  I am particularly thankful that certain things come to an end, while others start anew.  

I am always glad when Monday comes to a close.  
Happy to say goodbye to February.
I look forward to fall all year but I do enjoy spring - the harvest of my favorite vegetables.  I love that here in Chicago our seasons come to an end - we truly experience the fullness of each season (at times too fully).  

As John Steinbeck says,  "For how can one know color in perpetual green, and what good is warmth without cold to give it sweetness?"

After all, the end of one thing is really just the beginning of another.

In this city of great wind, May is perhaps the most unpredictable month of them all.  At this point, we are way over winter and biting at the heals of summer.  I think, all too easily, the month of May gets brushed aside in our rush to be done with the snap of winter - school kids and gardeners alike squirm in their seats, antsy and anxious.  

I do not love May like I love October - that is a special kind of love.
I do love May for it's stately asparagus, the royal radish, and the first wispy leaves of lettuce.  But mostly, I love May for its morels.
The 'shroom of all 'shrooms.  The great morel.

Maybe it has something to do with its distinctive honeycomb-like appearance (you know how I feel about honey).  Maybe just for the joy of the hunt and the glee of discovery.

The first year I embarked on the hunt for morels, we found five little longneck morels.  I cupped them in my hands gingerly, admiring our treasure and spreading as many spores as possible with my mesh bag, thinking ahead to the next year's brief season.


We found but one lonely little morel this year after hours of hunting.  


It was worth it.  I love pulling on my Hunter boots to muck about the forest for a while with a few fellow 'shroomers.  It makes my May.  I guess what makes a morel a morel is its dubious nature.  Some seasons are better than others.  Some years you find many and some years you find none.  

I suppose you could say that about many things.  I reckon that's why I'm so fond of these natural rhythms to begin with.  Some days are left so lacking that the fall of darkness couldn't come soon enough.  Other days are so full, you need another one to capture it all.  They say we are "creatures of habit."  I wonder if we are more aptly considered rhythmic beings.  It's not so much about habit, but more about ritual, cadence, flow.  We have a physical rhythm built into our bodies:  a pulse.  It seems natural, then, that the rest of our lives would be inherently poised around the rhythms of our world.

We were created within these rhythms.  Light/dark.  Life/death.  Day/night.  Work/rest.  7 days.  And it was good.

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