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Humans and Mushrooms

We both grow in the dark

A mushroom growing amidst moss with trees in background
A lone mushroom growing over the hill at Evergreen.

The mossy ground over the hill behind our house grew a mushroom this year.

It popped up overnight. When we spotted it, bits of soil still sat on its head, and tiny hillocks of cloying sand remained around the rim of the cap, pushed away as it rose. Over the next few days I took photos while it grew taller and wider until it finally found its way into my fry pan.

This mushroom developed in the dark. The spore soaked up water, absorbed warmth, sensed sunlight filtering through the sand, and moved skywards.

What a feat! What a mammoth effort! Three cheers for each mushroom that takes its place under the wintry sun!

We are like mushrooms. We do most of our growing in the dark.

Personal growth often happens when we feel confused or conflicted, misunderstood or misinformed, fenced-in or fooled.

At these times, the best thing to do is to accept that we are dwelling in the dark, quietly await developments, and source the best way forward.

I’ve been thrown into the dark several times. A major moment was when my religious beliefs, which had provided the major scaffolding of my life, finally collapsed into a pile of rubble, and I found myself sitting at the proverbial rock-bottom, choking on dust and chagrin. It was very dark. There was nowhere to go but up.

I dwelt in the dark for several years, awaiting developments, trying to source my way to the light.

Dark situations are countless and common. We lose a job or a leg; miss a plane or an opportunity; forget what we should remember or remember what we should forget. These things can take us into the dark. And that’s where we grow. Just like mushrooms.

So, if you find yourself in the dark, realise this is a time of personal growth. Things you need will find their way to you, just like moisture and warmth reach mushrooms.

And just like sunshine calls to mushrooms, the light will call to you.

With love, Marlane

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