Lately, I’ve noticed an abundance of fungi in our yard and woods. Perhaps it is the humid conditions of Ohio in late summer fall but they’ve cropped up all through the yard in the loamy soil and decaying logs of our woods.
I’ve become fascinated with the variety and types and like Dr. Egon Spengler from Ghostbusters (played by the late Harold Ramis), I’ve crossed the streams with the group of organisms that includes molds, spores and fungus. Unlike Egon I do not collect them unless you count “collecting photos”!
I’ve spent time trying to figure out why I am intrigued with fungi. What are these things anyway? They are not plants or bacteria (I looked it up!) They are heterotrophs which I vaguely remember from high school biology class (Thank you, Sr. Peg!). Heterotrophs are like us because they have to acquire and take in food to stay alive. They secrete digestive enzymes in their environment and absorb dissolved molecules. We do something similar when we take in food and our stomach enzymes dissolve it into the molecules we need to live. Fungi do all of this in soil or on dead matter like fallen trees. Pretty neat, huh?
Creation. The circle of life. Everything has a place and everything is connected. The fungi feed and grow from the soil and decaying wood. We feed and grow from plants and animals. We are part of creation.
In early August, I attended a Franciscan Day and the guest speaker was Fr. Daniel Horan, OFM Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Fr. Dan challenged us to look beyond the dominion and stewardship models of Christian theology of creation and embrace a kinship or community model of creation. I felt it was important for me at a personal and spiritual level to embrace, meditate and pray with the idea of being in kinship with Creation. How am I to be in relationship with Creation?
Getting “jazzed” about fungi is one way I enter into kinship with Creation. My camera has been a way for me to pray and reflect. It makes me slow down, breathe and focus on what I’m seeing.
I’ve discovered I absorb the Spirit and “digest” grace and wisdom. By immersing myself in God, scripture, contemplation or meditation, I become one with The Creator, who gives life. I am embraced by creation and recognize my oneness with Her. I do not have dominion over creation. I am called to be more than a steward. I feel the connection of being one with creation. I am a part of it all. I am Creation itself.
How do you view your place as part of Creation? Dominator? Steward? Or Part of Creation?
Who or what “feeds” you? How do you “digest” what you need to sustain spiritually sustain you? What practices do you engage in to feed your spirit?
What “jazzes” you about Creation? About yourself? About God?