Hanging onto Childhood Memories

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Nature is the art of God ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Jan, stop!” I yelled out to my twin sister as she pedaled ahead of me on her bike.

“What for?” she yelled back to me loudly.

“I just saw something in the woods, and I want to go back. I’m wondering what it is.”

The other day my sister and I were on the way back to my parent’s house from a bike ride. We had gone to collect some pears that we had spied the day before, from the car, on a tree in a vacant lot next door to the United Methodist Church on Taylors Island, Maryland.

“What was it you saw? An animal? ” Jan asked. The remote island of Taylors Island is well-known for it’s variety of shore birds, white-tailed and sika deer, wild turkeys and bald eagles. Dorchester County Maryland  is also notable for it’s abundance of fish, crabs and oysters.http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/waters/

“I don’t know but it  was a cluster of  something pure white on the ground. That’s why I want to go back.”

“Ok, you lead the way.” Jan said. We turned our bikes around and headed back to the spot where I had seen the curiosity.

“It’s there. Through the woods, “ I said pointing. “ we’ll have to cross the ditch and hike in to it.”

We parked our bikes, which had baskets attached to them, laden with the wild pears. We had picked only fruit that had fallen from the tree because the pears hanging from the branches were too green and too far from ripening.

When I initially saw the objects of interest, I had gone through a list of things in my mind of what  I thought they could be. “Perhaps some trash, the tails of a herd of deer , who knows what. ” I thought. As we neared the white patches I had seen through the trees on the ground in the distance, I saw that they were round and nearly a foot in diameter.

“Look at that! They are  huge mushrooms.” I said, completely surprised by my findings.

“Wow! I sure wish I could show them to Rob!” Jan said. “But I don’t have my camera.” I knew Jan’s husband who has been a chef in our nation’s capital’s finest restaurants would be interested.

“Let’s pick a couple and show him,” I said. After I extracted their roots from underneath the bed of pine needles, I felt a little guilty. “Is it a crime to pick mushrooms or pears from the wild?” I asked my sister.

“Too late to think of that now,” Jan said, beginning to place the mushrooms in the bike basket.”Let’s put my jacket between the pears and the mushrooms in the bike basket in case they are poisonous.”

“Yes,” I agreed. “We shouldn’t let the pears and mushrooms touch.”

When we got back to the house we showed our unexpected treasures to our family members, and my brother-in-law looked up the mushrooms on the internet. “They’re edible!” Rob exclaimed.

“Sorry, I am not eating them.” I said, “I value my life too much. We could be wrong. Eating mushrooms from the wild is not a good idea unless you know for sure they are not poisonous.”

“I’ll stick to the pears,” Jan said. “I am not taking any chances.”

That night as I fell off to sleep I thought about our events of the day and what Tom Stoppard once said ““If you carry your childhood with you, you never grow older.” Riding bikes and exploring nature took me back to the days of my youth when my sister and I used to play in the woods and throw stones in streams and find all kinds of fulfilling things in nature to keep us busy.

Images of a few unexpected finds on our bike ride. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wild pears. They are delicious!

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Great-blue-heron

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That’s all for today!

This blog brought to you by the award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her award-winning memoir, Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected,  please visit this site. http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt.

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Meeting Needs, Circuitously

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“I’m conscious of a series of circles working its way through my life.” ~ Ben Okri

Circle-Of-Life-(Small)

Image above: Artist Nathalie Parenteau

There has been a certain synchronicity lately on All Things Fulfilling around the theme of building things – building stone walls and memorials, building a beautiful home and family, building business through our passions, building meaningful relationships between people and community.

If you read yesterday’s blog called “Riding the Circuit,” there was a bit of self-deprecating humor over searching for answers to what the term “circuit rider” means. Here is a continuation of my story.

As a first time visitor, I opened the red doors to the tiny UnitedMethodistChurch on TaylorsIsland with quiet trepidation, and with much curiosity about what this “circuit rider” my mother spoke of might look like. I imagined someone in the pews would be wearing a cowboy hat, since that is what I had grown accustomed to seeing on Sunday mornings as I entered the UMC in Steamboat, Colorado. From my relatively new Western point of reference, in my mind a circuit rider is a cowboy who rides the rodeo circuit.  

In I entered. I sat in a pew behind a small group of people who turned, smiled warmly and said “Good morning, welcome!” 

“No cowboy hats in this crowd, East coast dress code” I thought. I sat quietly and reverently listening to small town conversation around me. Finally, someone remarked that “the Reverend must be running late.”

“No big deal,” I thought. I was used to people running late, in places where people recreate (in vacation places like shore towns and ski resorts) people have more laid back attitudes, and seem to run on their own time clocks. 

Finally, in the Reverend walked. What I came to find out after the powerful, inspirational sermon he delivered was that the “Rev ” is the “circuit rider” my mother talked about. He goes around fulfilling  the spiritual needs of people at four services, at four different churches on Sunday mornings. That’s why he is called a circuit rider! To read more about this preacher’s life, please visit this article. http://delmarvane.ws/1bqWxTq. This minister has been serving people for almost sixty-six years helping to build one-on-one relationships between people and God, in different communities.

Tomorrow, a shorter blog. I promise! This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.