Chanterelles in the Garden

We walked slowly, harvesting choice mushrooms
Our basket filled with God’s bounty, gift fulfilled
Light danced iridescent on the rippled lake surface
as moistened woods transformed our receptivity

Such dark beauty a rarity under its dense canopy
Earth’s dampness smelled far older than ourselves
Brilliant colors intensified nature’s natural glow
We held hands, immersed in wonder on the path

Exiting was less intense as new growth mixed in
The lake yielded to a meandering shallow brook
Deep orange chanterelles in the moss-stilled time
Harvesting slow as grateful prayer overwhelmed

God was not done with us reading creation’s book
as a tall white birch exploded noisily in the quiet
Splash landing directly into the water yards away
Astonished, without a doubt; divinity had arrived

We became even more awake to God’s presence
A fresh journey began anew at a man-made bridge
The trail this way was not our intended way home
But, the call unmistakable, we chose to let it lead

The trail pulled us upward away from the shadows
From a hilltop, we viewed across the lake’s domain
Behind us an unexpected metal fence shouted, pain
We dared to approach; not like where we had been

Panic struck, an unexpected swath of destruction
Land barren from a machine stripping everything
Gouges left behind in the deep mined gravel pit
Signs appeared everywhere telling us to stay away

We were crushed to see God’s perfection disappear
Our slow pace quickened, loving banter ended too
Its memory I cannot forget, another wound within
A scar in the garden, I pray for its resurrection


Near the half way point of a hike with my wife, the dense woods opened to a beautiful brook. At the brook’s edge, while I bent down to pick a handful of choice Chanterelle mushrooms, a large white birch crash landed straight into the water. In all my journeys into the woods I had never before been a witness to a tree falling. 

God had our attention and we felt drawn far away from our intended trail straight up a little hill. I was shocked to see a chain link fence and saddened when I saw the machine-made destruction.  The land was stripped bare and dug down fifty feet, extracting over a half square mile of gravel. It was so opposite of what we had just seen.  The rest of the hike home was silent. I was broken and devastated that it would simply be left that way. The scar and the wound it has left behind inside me still brings sadness. As for now, all I know to do is pray for its restoration.  

For further reflection: Ezekiel 31

Chanterelles in The Garden