Number 33 – A Pink Door Enchantment Nov 17, 2020

“It’s as he is nearing the parking lot that Aaron realizes God’s inherent value is reflected in the fact that there are so many doors to choose.”

Bee Season

Despite the evidence of televised small minds on parade, the day was all a’ sparkle – blue popcorn sky, faint breeze with the prospect of overflowing intellect by way of my farmer friend Athena. Athena’s Harvest Farm and Training Center had posted their latest crop on Instagram.

The Pink Oyster Mushroom most certainly qualifies as an enchantment so I headed out to claim a bonanza. Cruising along Highway 7 with sunroof wide open, I hooked into that teen-like trance of anything’s possible.

The bewitching sounds of Christine and the Queens blared. Heloise Letissier (aka Christine) is a self-reinventing musical artist who is also fluent in modern dance and theater.

Heloise/Christine and Athena have an undercurrent of commonality. They relish the opening of doors.

With a career in international public health (MBA and MPH) Athena worked in Africa, China, Mexico and Dominica, and now serves as a strategic advisor for Nuru International while juggling the duties of mother and farmer.

I appreciate the god of plain vanilla, but the trip was a mighty mouse reminder of why we should mix it up with those we choose to converse. David Chang commented during his series Ugly Delicious – “You have to be open ‘cause you don’t know who is carrying the keys to your castle.”

I trailed Athena’s long red locks and lyrical narration of what’s to come out there on their well-designed farm and training center in Fly, Tennessee.

Listening I heard the word of the day. It was a to-do verb word. Thrive: to grow vigorously and FLOURISH. Particularly now in a time embroidered with the fear of change, I am cheering for Team Thrive. Opening doors to other world wisdoms is the first cardinal step.

When I met my husband of 41 years, I was struck with his appreciation of growing things. This was not a category of which I had an iota of experience. Sure I had a portable cactus named Harry but, did I understand what its aliveness had to offer?

My family of origin brought practically nothing to the green table outside the time my father courted exhaustion after planting 2 pecan trees with a post hole digger.

Dalton introduced to me the joy of examining the outdoors. His father and enlightened yardman Isador planted a seed of passion that grew as he grew. He introduced Saturdays in the yard (rafting weekends, hiking field trips too.)

I learned how to select, how to plant, how to relocate and prune, how to properly water and feed, using logic with minimal chemical interference. And as a perk at the end of the day, he prepared the ceremonial elements – mixed grill with gin and tonic.

Thank you, way to open a door, D. “It’s my pleasure, you know that,” he always says.

As we lugged our potted plants to the grow light room for cold weather season, I contrasted the versions of our younger selves twirling with one hand the burden we share today a la rest breaks in between.

Once my Grandmother confided to me that she wished she could explore world religions like my grandfather did. “I’m just too scared to do it,” she mumbled presenting a door knob that she was unwilling to open. This was not lost on a child.

Take the secret passage to what “the other” has to offer and stay in the pink of living as a sacred reward. Just one caveat: “For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them,” says Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.

D’s passion for the beauty of the earth and getting dirty was like opening a bag of gold that has paid out ever since.

Follow up on the pink in oyster mushrooms. “Just a little butter, salt and pepper,” advises Athena. Taste buds will unfurl as if a prince of peace gave you a key to the palace.