Outside the office where I work, we have an area shaded by pine trees. After days of rain or humidity, the conditions become ripe for outcroppings of bright yellow and white polka-dotted mushrooms. It can actually be quite magical to witness these large fungi unfolding from underneath the pine straw. A few months ago, I wrote a post about this symbolic sense of awakening.
Last week, after much rain and unseasonably warm temperatures, the fungi became alive again. Everywhere I looked, little bodies peeped through the ground cover like little children waiting to explore the big, wide world. As I stopped to observe for a moment, something caught my eye.
This. Yes, this soft being of creation stood nonchalantly amidst damp pine needles, fresh moss, and cracked asphalt.
I couldn’t believe it–I wanted a closer look so I wrangled the dogs in on their leashes and squatted down by the curb. Sure enough, this mushroom had pushed her way through the solid parking lot to create a space for herself in this world. What a testament to strength.
I’ve been checking her every morning since then, and she continues to go about her business, stretching and unfolding like her peers whose toes are rooted in soft dirt. She may not have the widest cap or the brightest markings, but she has become a symbol of fortitude for me.
In our lives, we often face challenges that present barriers to growth–a glass ceiling, a confined box, or a narrow scope. We become frustrated, weary, or hopeless as we perceive ourselves to be stuck or weak.
And yet, if we open ourselves to the movement of the Holy Spirit, we realize that our faith offers us the insight and strength we need to crack the ceiling, think outside the box, or widen the scope. Or perhaps, even wiggle our way through a little asphalt.