Saturday, January 30, 2021

Beech Holiday


 I miss going to our local Pacific Northwest Beaches.


I miss the meditation of walking on the beach.



When our child was small we stayed at a motel on the beach on the east side of Vancouver Island. It was called the Driftwood Inn and it was simple, clean and cheap. We walked on the beach and ate simple meals. My favourite kind of holiday. The motel closed down not long after we left. As if it was a magical chimera and hadn’t really every existed at all. 

We hardly ever went on holidays.




 On my walks I look for fungi instead of shells and today I found a crenellated pink fungus that looks like something you’d find clinging to a rock in a tide pool. There is something so human about its undulating folds. The fleshy texture relates to human skin, maybe an internal organ, frenula, vulva, the roof of one’s mouth, or the interior of a yawning cat’s mouth. I found it in a beech tree, along with insect holes and some shrivelled candlesnuff fungus reaching out with wizened fingers. There is one hole that had been filled with plant matter and then punctured by a parasite, leaving a smaller hole. 

This cavity is almost like a little altar in a decaying part of the tree. An offrenda of decaying leaves.


I’m drawn back to this tree and its treasures. I dream about it. It has cast its spell on me, whispered its secret stories and now I am its acolyte.




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