When You Can’t Find What You’re Looking For

I’m in the woods where the deer roam, but instead of shed antlers, I stumble upon trametes versicolor

It’s a special kind of mushroom.

Trametes versicolor © Live with Flair

With all this gloomy rain, the forest floor erupts with various mushrooms and lichens. In China and Japan, scientists believe that a protein within this mushroom contains amazing immunity boosting agents including cancer treatment.

I’ve never before in my life ever written or spoken the words trametes versicolor.  What other things grow up in the mucky moisture of these woods that can heal things?

I see no shed antlers, but it doesn’t matter.  As I turn to walk home before the rain comes, I see the brightest yellow lichen.  I learn that scientists study lichen (since they have no roots and instead absorb nutrients from the air) to measure air pollutants, ozone depletion, and even metal contamination. 

Yellow Lichen

It’s a glorious world that can teach so very much.  When I can’t find what I’m looking for, I remember to sink deep into what’s around me.

I learn and marvel.

What marvelous thing did you find today?


Moodiness to Marvelous

We’re in a new town for a wedding, and we ask the pastor where we might go for breakfast this morning.

This is the pastor who describes this little town as “ordinary people who serve an extraordinary God.”  He leans over and tells us we can go to all the normal breakfast places, but if we really want the best place, we need to go to Java Jacks.

Java Jacks looks like a run-down house on the side of the road!  This can’t be the place.  A dog named Samson sits by the side door waiting for a sample of sausage.  But the pastor said this was the place, so we enter.

I have one of the best breakfasts (in the quirkiest settings) I can remember in a long time. (By the way, a “Jacks” is a little funnel cake they serve on the side of your blueberry pancakes and crab omelets.)

I love finding people who know the local scene.  You have to leave the beaten path, not judge by appearances, and be willing to go on an adventure. 

I used to detest traveling.  All my anxiety and bad moods would flare up in resistance as soon as I packed the car.  But not anymore.  Living with flair has set me on a journey to find the extraordinary thing–often off the beaten path–that nobody else notices.  When I travel, it’s now anticipation instead of anxiety.  It’s marveling instead of moodiness.

Journal:  What’s the best kept secret in your town?  A coffee shop?  A bookstore?