July 18, 2013
Last week the Urban Farm School was led into the magical world of mycelium by the mushroom man himself, Alan Muskat. Maybe it’s not that the world of mycelium is actually magic, maybe it’s just that it is hidden and unknown to so many. Typically when we do not understand something, or we experience a great mystery, we refer to it as magic. Alan guided our journey into this mysterious world, making the unknown known. However, for me, the more I learned the more magical it became.
Alan has an incredible way of creating a bridge between the mushroom and the human. Many of us in his class were first time mushroom explorers and we were full of lots of questions. We quickly realized that understanding mushrooms takes a lot of time, observation, and attention to detail. I would add that if you want to understand mushrooms and live a long life too that it takes a great deal of caution as well. Alan consistently reminded us that if we don’t know if a mushroom is edible then ASK. And ask a human, not just a guide book.
The next day after class I went out into the forest for the entire day asking all sorts of questions. I was hiking by myself but I wasn’t alone. In fact it may have been the least lonely I have felt since moving to Asheville. I was communicating with so many friends all around me. I was asking the forest directly to guide me and she did. I would see a beautiful flower and walk towards it and on the way I would be blessed with finding multiple mushrooms. Sometimes I would follow the call of an intriguing tree and climb it’s limbs to discover that from a higher view point I could see another tree in the distance covered in shelf mushrooms. The whole communication was magic!
I went home that day with about 20 new mushroom friends. I asked them all their name but none of them responded, so I decided to take Alan’s advice and ask a human. I went to the local Wild Foods Market on Saturday in downtown Asheville to talk to the mushroom man himself who introduced me to my new companions by name.
I have hiked hundreds and hundreds of miles in the forest during my lifetime but I don’t think hiking will ever be the same for me. Through the magical world of mycelium I have found a new and deeper connection with the awesomeness of this planet. It feels kind of like waking up from a bad dream of separation and remembering that we are actually all one …. and that we too have the ability to support a healthy planet through a vast network of conscious communication just like the mycelium. It is my hopes that the more we remember the magic of being human being that we can use this mycelial network to wake up our brothers and sisters all over the world and reconnect with the original vibration of ourselves and of the multiverse! And no … I did not eat a“magic mushroom” that created all of these thoughts. I simply took the time to sit, listen, and ask question. This communication is where the magic lies.