I woke up this morning, under my snuggly covers to the sound of rain pitter-patter outside the barn. Waking up alive was so delicious but after yesterday, if I had woken up dead that would have been okay too.
There is a giddiness to Joan in the owl glade that in another time might convince the locals of enchantment and bewitching. Ballou and I fell prey to her fairy circle within seconds of crossing the little brook and stepping into the dappled sunlight. “The monkeys live beyond here,” she said. We had no reason to believe otherwise…and I found myself praying at the mouth of a hollow tree.
“Here, I found it,” she said. There were two sticks on the ground making an “x.” “I wanted to show you where I found them.” And there they were a small cluster of black trumpets blaring out of the leafy, loaminess. We gathered the small palmful. And then I spotted another clump and then another until our hands weren’t big enough and Joan took off her t-shirt and we filled it like a little hammock. as we stumbled from clump to clump, tree to tree; dapple to dapple under the oak and beech trees. Giddy. Sorry to use the word again, but we were giddy.
“I’ve eaten them twice before in the past week,” she assured us, “and I am still not dead.”
So after a dip in the lake and a bit of sunbathing I came back to the barn and made my first cherry pie of the year. We had linguine and black trumpets (just a splash of Prosecco to balance the butter). Then beef and smoked sausage meatballs with gamy black currant condiment and sauteed kale. A salad of tender and bolting greens followed it all. Then pie straight from the oven to the table.
Not a bad last meal. But I have woken up not dead. And tomorrow, if we are lucky, the mycologist comes and life at the barn becomes even more delicious and reckless. Or is that reck-full?