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Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Living a Dream

By Jeanne Waite Follett of Gullible's Travels

A couple years ago, right about this time of year come to think of it, when the greens of summer were metamorphosing into the vibrant colors of autumn, I made the acquaintance of a very special mushroom. I was taken with this particular fungus.

When I first saw him, he was very shy and wouldn't even attempt to communicate. In fact, he blushed a bright pink and turned away.

Mushroom 1

I had to get right down to his level, right in his face so to speak, before he even acknowledged my presence. Slowly he began to open up and we talked for a long time. He told me all about his dreams and how he was encouraging the other mushrooms in his neighborhood to dream also.

Mushroom 2

Most of them just laughed and made fun of Jonathan's dreams. "You goofy mushroom," they said. "We all know mushrooms can't do THAT!"

Then winter came and Jonathan's world was covered in the deep snows that fall in the Chugach mountains. Long into the winter, I wondered about Jonathan, wondered if any of his dreams had ever come true.

Spring arrived and then summer and I went searching for Jonathan but couldn't find him or any of his relatives. I waited until fall and then every time I drove by his place, I'd stop the car and climb the bank to the edge of the hemlock forest.

I hoped to find either Jonathan or some evidence that would give me a clue about him. There was nothing, not a mushroom in sight. There was not one thing that told me a mushroom ever lived - and dreamed - at that spot.

Today, driving past in a steady rain, I caught a glimpse of color and pulled off the highway. At first all I saw were stodgy mushrooms, the kind you see everywhere.

A few feet from where Jonathan had lived and dreamed, I found some huge mushrooms, but none than looked like Jonathan or his kin.

I grew very concerned. Did the laughter finally get to Jonathan? Did he put away his dreams and grow into normal, stodgy old mushroom? I found some evidence to suggest that.

Mushroom 3

Once, this mushroom could have dreamed for a life beyond being rooted to the same spot its entire span. Now, grown old and nearing the end of its life span, it is bent with age and care.

I searched and searched for Jonathan. I never found him. But, I did find an indication that Jonathan's whimsy might have influenced another mushroom because there in the midst of The Stodgies, this particular mushroom defied convention and tilted back its cap to allow a gentle rain to fall on its face.

Mushroom 4

But that doesn't tell me definitively what happened to Jonathan. For now, and until I find proof to controvert it, I will continue to believe as I did last year.

I think Jonathan Livingstone Mushroom, namesake of Jonathon Livingstone Seagull, had his dreams come true. I think he really did learn to fly.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


What a wonderful story, thank goodness you had your camera handy. I love plants and all of my friends have plant names. We chose ones that we wanted to be so I am Ms. Walnut. When I die they can make furniture out of my bones.

I think Jonathan will reappear when you least expect it, as you said he is shy. Patience.
Good job, keep looking.

Cute story and the pictures are just great. Jonathan looks like a pink pillow. Maybe some fairy is resting her head on him now.

POEstory! Thank you.

Jeanne - Great story and pictures.

I am a bit embarrassed to say this rekindled memories of a far-less mature part of my life, when Jonathan and many of his friends and relations carried me off on hallucinogenic excursions and into another dimension! (Or so I believed back then.)- Sandy

Gorgeous photos and a charming story. I enjoyed it.

I am a true mushroom lover and believer, so your story hit home.Now in China I will try to find different mushrooms if I am ever out in the countryside, but I won't ever be able to match your wonderful tale.

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