As I sit on the back deck, I see an old Apple Tree to the East surrounded by Maple and Oak trees. To the North, there is a woodland meadow of Enchanters Nightshade, Jewel Weed, and Wild Raspberry. To the South the Grape leaves flow out from the arbor below the Peach trees. Here, in the woods of Maine, we are at the beginning of months of abundance, but to recognize the true measure of what is available, I have to be able to see it. One of the most striking things that happened to me when I started to learn about edible plants was when I began to actually see them. Once I knew what they looked like, I couldn't not see them. Dandelion greens, Lambs quarters, Violets, Queen Ann's lace, we are surrounded by wild edible plats in such numbers that it would be difficult to harvest them all. But if you don't know what to look for, it can look like nothing more than a carpet of green.
This gets me thinking about how there are always months, or weeks, or days, or moments of abundance in my life. Times when I can relax, and know that there is so much available to me, even if I miss something, there will be more around the corner. The abundance is there, but, like edible plants, I have know what it looks like to be able to see it. One of the biggest challenges I faced in my foragers journey was breaking from the supermarket culture that taught me that something edible and safe couldn't possibly be growing next to my driveway. And how could something nourishing possibly be free? I receive so many invitations from our culture to be “saving for the rainy day,” or “being prepared for the next shoe to drop.” It can be hard to recognize the times when, even if it does rain, there will be more than enough to get me through; Even if I don't prepare. Our 24/7 culture invites me to think I have to always be on guard in anticipation of the bad times, but today I am remembering that sometimes there is so much good, it will outweigh the bad anyway. The real danger is in missing these times and the rejuvenation they offer. Today, I will be keeping my head up and my eyes open, looking for those possible but perhaps unfamiliar moments of abundance. And I will be taking the time to stop and fully relax into their warm embrace, trusting that in this time of plenty, there will be enough.