There's no better celebration of any season than the decorated tree adorned with the rich symbolism of nature—my ritual to inform and inspire you in the journey called life.

Friday, August 28, 2009

magical, mysterious mushrooms

I N   R E M E M B E R I N G  the first time I had mushroom tea, my friends didn't know whether or not their brew would be strong enough to have an effect. But we all drank some of it, and went along our way to the beach where they kept their catamaran. Just as we were launching it into the emerald green water of the Gulf of Mexico at Seaside, Florida (the idyllic town where The Truman Show was filmed), everything suddenly became indescribably more vibrant on this beautifully sunny and warm day. Riding the waves, the emerald-clear water we glided over was gradually dotted with beige, pink, and purple jellyfish and dolphins swam playfully along with us—no lie! I have never felt so at one with nature. We were giddy with laughter and excitement—and it is still one of the most vivid sensory moments of my life. It was like being in a movie (although it was years before the The Truman Show was filmed there). 

O N E   F R I E N D  who was with our group that day, John (A.J.) Prescott died this summer at the young age of 45. Again, I must be channeling some sort of energy from the many loved ones who have passed on in the last few years (too many). All their love still lives inside of me and I have to let it out now that they're gone—by doing something that is cathartic. A.J. and I were soulmates—friends that could always pick up where we left off. He was always bringing people together in magical ways—he introduced me to Lowell, who I spent six years together with in a wonderful relationship (still great friends). A.J. packed more into his 45 years that most people do in three lifetimes, so I can't be sad he is gone. He lived his life full-out, the envy of many of his friends he traveled without, because we encumbered ourselves with the stuff of life—he didn't. He saw places in the world I only dream about and had many experiences in being totally in touch with mother Earth as I have already described. Just maybe he had something to do with what I relate to you next.

A F T E R   I T   R A I N E D  all night and a good part of the day today, I noticed three unusually large mushrooms had popped up in the grass just outside my front door. I have no idea whether these are a kind you can ingest, so I wouldn't recommend them—you've got to know what you're doing if you harvest wild mushrooms—many are poisonous. Just an hour before, I had been talking to my friend Brandon about not knowing what to do for my next blog post. And when I got home, seeing the mushrooms there, an idea just "fell out of the sky" (ancient Egyptians believed that mushrooms were sons of gods, sent riding to earth on thunderbolts)—imagine that! Inspired to use the real mushrooms along with two unique mushroom ornaments I bought last year, I suddenly knew what to write about. Riding in on a lightning bolt—it all came together—lucky indeed! 

M U S H R O O M   O R N A M E N T S  have long been a symbol of luck as a tree decoration. Glass tree ornaments are a German invention. Christoph Müller and Hans Greiner set up Germany's first glassworks in 1597 in the small town of Lauscha. Most commonly, these lucky mushrooms are blown with white stems and red caps dotted with white. You'll find airbrushed spun cotton mushrooms also, but I thought these modern fabric-and-glitter covered wire frame ornaments were uniquely beautiful. And lucky for me, I knew where they were in my unorganized stash.

M A G I C   A N D   M Y S T E R Y  have become an incredibly electrifying force in creating this blog. I find myself "in the zone" when I'm doing it—so I know I'm on an inspirational path. But, the serendipity in life only comes when you are in-the-moment. You feel connected to a collective consciousness—something much bigger than you. It's nice to invite it in. I'll remember my friend A.J. whenever I hang a mushroom on a tree and I'll invite all the wonderful memories of him inside. He was truly a flower child born too late for that era. I'll never forget him. He was never one to be usurped by the status quo—he lived as far off-the-grid as possible. The Times, They are A-Changin', for sure. I can only hope the love and light he gave, has been absorbed into a greater good for the world to heal itself.

RAINBOW'S FRIEND | John (A.J.) Prescott (above, left) was truly a pot of gold to everyone who knew him.

MAGIC MUSHROOMS | The three mushrooms I found that sprung up during an overnight rain (top, right), with two glittered fabric-covered wire mushroom ornaments. The beaded and sequined felt ball ornament with a metallic braided trim rounded out the photo (all from Anthropologie, 2008).

collecting, photography and styling by Darryl Moland

U P D A T E 
Who knew? Bob Dylan even has Christmas in the Heart. His 47th album (left) will be released October 13th, with all the royalties going to Feeding America (and two international charities)—in perpetuity. Now, that is what I call the Christmas spirit! I've never been a big Bob Dylan fan (except for his lyrics), but I'll be buying this one. I stumbled upon the news of it when I was confirming that all my post links were operable. The times have changed, indeed. Serendipity at work . . . again!

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