A Mushroom’s Message
Becca Stevens, priest, entrepreneur and creator of opportunities for women who are survivors says that “it takes a great deal of humility to face universal issues by simply loving the next person who crosses our path”. When we feed the hunger on this side of the street, it could make a difference to the homeless family on the other side. When we weep for lives lost to senseless acts of violence in Uvalde, it could connect us to the sufferings of the Ukrainians grieving an unthinkable war.
My daughter who is a biology major walked me through her campus showing me her favorite mushrooms, explaining the mycelium network that undergirds it all. These mycelium threads create a mycorrhizal network. Most incredibly, I learned that this network has been found to communicate with itself, connecting and transmitting nutrients plus information through these threads just below their surface. They can send and detect distress signals and send resources to plants in need.
What if it we have our own underground network of threads of connection and care? Could it be that it matters when we cry for others or practically care for another? If we knew it mattered that we share others’ pain, could our sorrow lead us to a proactive place to help heal and transform our world?
I keep hoping to land at peace in my life. I want to unpack my belongings and live in peace. But when my sisters and brothers are losing their precious children and teachers down the street, and my neighbor is dying of cancer, and my children’ hearts are breaking, it just isn’t peaceful.
So I am soaking in the message from this little mushroom today. I am trusting that Mother Nature has something to teach me as I try to simply love the next person who crosses my path. What if turning toward the suffering of others could cause communication, connection and the transmitting of love and care to the other side of the earth. Maybe it would lead to a place where suffering moves me to seek justice, peace and hope for the next person in my path.
“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.” Mother Teresa