On our walks, my children gather treasures by the dress or pockets full. Chubby hands clutch too many rocks, each one picked for it's own uniqueness. Some are loved for their colors, some for their lack; some for their size and strength and some for their teenyness. Sticks and branches are trudged along as walking sticks, or thrown in the air as flagpoles and signals. Feathers-no matter what, are found then floated, caught, and then fly along with the children all the way home. Flowers tuck themselves in hair, or behind ears, or decorate our clothing and rarely are mouths without a stalk of wheat or foxtails.
But never on our walks, do we discover something so pure and beautiful, fragile and intricate as we did the other day stumbling upon the most gorgeous mushroom ever. Two inches or pure ivory-not a blemish or scratch. Sitting proudly, alone in the tall grass, first thought was an ostrich egg. OSTRICH? No. Turkey?! nay.
We lifted it from it's grassy bed and cradled it in our hands. The older, more experienced hands holding gingerly, the younger ones being more flamboyant yet each finger, young and old, marvelling in it's own way, with it's own touch. The deep, recessed grooves so tender and distinguished. The white flesh so perfectly pure and soft. The pattern so intoxicating.
Each took a turn carrying it home, many exclamations made over it the rest of the evening. It became a bird egg, then an eating egg and eventually a vase for fresh flower petal potpourri. It rested on the windowsill next to the childrens' bed for the next two days, fingerprints and markings eventually marring the white flesh with tarnished brown.
Eventually, so brown, we had to throw it away and I mentioned how sad it was we wouldn't still see it's beauty every day.
To which Corynn, more wise than she knows, replies:
"It's okay. Just because it turned brown doesn't mean we still can't enjoy it."
Now, we enjoy it's memory...and look forward to the possibility that we might find another some day.
And that is enough.