Thursday was just a "awful-horrible-no-good-very-bad" day. The day started off hard and got worse. Even the drive up to the mountains was weepy and sad and scared and dark. Eventually, I fell asleep and when I woke on Friday, there was a slight lightness. So hard sometimes to climb out of that dark place.
I have dealt with depression for my entire adult life. It's not something that is fun to talk about or often, not "appropriate" to discuss, but I think it is probably important to acknowledge, so that everyone who deals with it themselves, or with someone they love, doesn't feel so alone. For me, it has been a not-so-fun companion that visits from time to time, stays for a few days or a few weeks, and then moseys along to bother someone else. I know that being a sensitive person is a super-power for my work, an asset to my ability to take care of my friends and family and sometimes useful for creativity... but more often than not, it is also a terrible burden and effects not just my life, but the life of those around me. And then, I feel guilty for how my sadness effects my people. And around it goes.
So, Thursday I felt like I really shouldn't go to the mountains with Willi. He is a avid outdoorsman and forager, and gets such pleasure and invigorating energy from being in the woods. And I felt like I was going to be such a damper to all that. But, kind man that he is, he helped me get packed, find some way to be comfortable and comforted (as best he can) and got us up there. A decent night's sleep in a tent (because we bring ALL the pillows) and the morning felt the tiniest bit better. And sometimes, that's all it takes. A tiny window into the gray.
We hunted mushrooms (King Boletes) all day on Friday. The long morning we worked together combing through forest meadows and underbrush. We stopped for a bit of lunch and then found another likely spot. Willi went off into the woods and left me in the car reading for a quick bit... which turned into a couple hours. I spread a beach towel under a pine tree and snoozed in the sun, read a great book my mom had lent me (Goat Song)and just allowed myself to rest. Something that I am terrible at doing, and needed to do so badly.
When Willi returned, we ended up finding another little patch and getting a bunch more together and then decided to disperse camp near a little creek for the night. Built a nice fire, roasted porcini on sticks and made a dinner of Garganelli Pasta with our Pesto (for me) and the Ragu (for him) accompanied by some of the morels and porcini sautéed with some kale. Ridiculously delicious.
Had a moment of feeling slightly bear-scared, but decided that I was well taken care of by this red-headed mountain man, and went to sleep.
This morning, we had an amazing mushrooming day. Found SO MANY MORELS!! It had me in giggles as I crawled along the dirt picking them. And I actually found them myself! Lots of them. It was very satisfying. We kept saying, "ok, one more tree" and then we would find a bunch more and be there for another 45 minutes. Finally, we had almost 100 pounds of mushrooms between the two days of picking and decided it was time to start back.
We made one more little stop when Willi had a hunch about a meadow we passed. We walked around and then both of us started seeing them. In 20 minutes we had found another 30 pounds of porcini. It was flat out silly! And really fun. And the sun was shining and the birds were singing and Mt Shasta was looking so gorgeous and pristine in snow. We finished up, changed out of our filthy jeans and headed into McCloud for burgers and fries and soft-serve ice cream cones. A perfect treat.
Home now and trying to remember the feeling of the woods. To not let the piles of laundry and stuff to do get into my head too much.
We have oodles of mushrooms to work with, and have decided to add a PORCINI RAGU to the menu this week. It will be very much like our meat Ragu, but will be vegetarian. Hearty and fragrant and full of porcini hand-picked by us!
Menu below is good for Monday and Wednesday of next week. North Bay delivery on Monday, East Bay delivery on Wednesday.
I am glad to be in this community, to share the ups and downs of this crazy time in history with those I love and respect and desperately hope to work with again. Take care of yourselves. Find a way to soak up some sunshine. Drink lots of water. Hug yourself for me. xoxo