The other day, my mother-in-law asked me if I had any friends at yoga.
I don’t. But there are people there whom I see every summer when I go to my thrice-weekly yoga class in the Victorian pavilion overlooking the St. Lawrence River. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, I leave our cottage at 7:20 and drive upriver and over the bridge to Wellesley Island to practice with a bunch of other summer people. There are my teacher’s parents, in their 80’s and fit. There is the lady, at least fifteen years my senior, who has an amazing handstand sequence. There are the young moms. The triathletes. There is the hippie woman who is an educator. And there is the mushroom lady. Or that’s what I think of her as.
When I started going to these yoga classes during our Julys at the River four years ago, I felt very very shy. But one morning I couldn’t help myself. There had been a sudden rain and a whole bunch of large—Portobello-sized—mushrooms had popped out overnight. It was wonderful. I turned to the woman next to me and told her what I’d seen. She grew enthusiastic: If I was interested in mushrooms, there was a talk at the library next week….
Abashed, I confessed that mine was no more than a passing interested, but since then, I’ve thought of her as the mushroom lady. I like her.
So, when my mother-in-law asked on a Monday if I’d seen my friends, I admitted that I recognized many and was happy to see the mushroom lady again.
On Wednesday, my older daughter came with me. The teacher made some announcements, including the one that Jean, she pointed to the mushroom lady, would be leading a mushroom foraging event at the State Park on Saturday. It turns out she is the President of the Central New York Mycological Society.
What are the chances that the one time in my life I mention wild mushrooms to someone it would be her?
And what are the chances that later that day, I would spot these beauties on my walk with Flynn, the wonder hound?