This is a little different form my usual food and gardening posts. It's a story followed by a metaphor which will end with a life lesson, as I'm forever trying to put meaning to whatever random thing happens in my life. Read on if you like that kind of stuff.
I took my dog Boo out for our morning walk to the park, but halfway there I realized I was wearing my flip-flops instead of sneakers which meant I couldn't walk through our usual spot we've parted through the bushes because of all the poison ivy. Instead, I walked past that area and decided to cross the street to walk the grounds of an abandoned nursing home that's for sale. It's a fairly large property with woods surrounding it and nice plantings in front, so I figured at least it would be something new for Boo to sniff and explore. I'm glad I did because along the side of the parking lot I noticed tons of sweet-smeling dried berry debris, and when I looked up it was as if I had entered a magical kingdom of mulberry trees. There was a whole row of them, all with fruit in varying stages of ripeness. I gorged for about 10 minutes, but since I didn't want to make myself sick I decided that my new plan for the week is to come back every morning for foraging. Also in the back of the property were some peach and pear trees - a mini orchard! It was like a secret paradise only the birds and we knew about. I'm going to feast there all summer!
OK, that's the story. Now the lesson. As I was thinking about the whole proceedings of discovering this hidden fruit forest, I realized I would never have found it if I hadn't accidentally worn flip-flops. Which made me think "happy accident." And then also, "changing paths." How many times do you find yourself stuck in a routine and feel like you can't get out? As if you're in shackles and you have no choice. Always remember that you DO have a choice. Take a different path, at least once, for one day, even if it's just a different route to work. Notice everything around you, observe what's new and different. Maybe you'll find that hidden fruit forest. Or maybe it will just clear your head for a few minutes and give you a new perspective for the day. Change things up in your life in little ways because that's what makes living an adventure. You may end up opening a whole new world of possibilities you never even imagined.
I was feeling it, being in the moment, just listening to the birds, feeling the cool morning breeze, the wet dew on my feet, and letting it all happen. It reminded me to not get caught up in my head and my worries, to just observe and be present and open to new discoveries, because they're right there in front of us. Sometimes I forget to let that part of me be open. This is the revelation I needed, that I was hoping a hike in the woods would bring me, and yet even without the hike it happened anyway.