Gold Under Them There Leaves

“There’s gold under them there leaves!”

I heard the shout ahead on the trail as a couple of my friends dug deep under the autumn leaves of the forest to pull out beautiful mushrooms, fat and luscious.

I laughed and rejoiced in the feeling of the rich earth under my fingers as I pried loose a few mushrooms of my own and added them to the bags hanging from my waist.

Heading home, I left the basket of mushrooms in the kitchen and returned to the ongoing project to sort and organize thousands of photography slides from our travels around the world.

Refreshed from the brisk morning walk and mushroom pick, my mind was clear and I smiled as I found a fun image from a trip that was a disaster at the time, but in retrospect, a memorable adventure with my husband.

Another image was of a friend who’d died a couple years later – a good death. It was okay, and the memory of that moment frozen in time made me grin even more.

A photograph of the Painted Hills in Oregon, a fun side trip with my mother during a long trip researching my family’s genealogy. She’d never been to the John Day Fossil Beds or Painted Hills even though they were a few hours drive from where she and I grew up. We’d arrived at sunset with the golden setting sun casting warm light across the strips of soil. It was another precious moment when I’d been able to introduce her to something new and beautiful.

Then another picture of a scenic view of the Arava Desert near the Dead Sea in Israel taken by my husband at my insistence and against his better judgement. The photograph was spectacular, and he eventually agreed with me, but I often wonder if it was worth the battle. Standing here today with the image in my hand, it is worth it.

My friend is right. There is gold under them there leaves. We all have leaves in our life that we avoid digging through.

Dig. You never know what gold you will find in your leaves.

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