Stand Strong Little Mushroom

Stand Strong Little Mushroom

Ryder and I went on a walk yesterday to get out of the house. The city and neighboring cities were recommending a strong dose of cabin fever for all citizens while a hurricane blew through. Our “flood zone”, ocean level, surrounded by creeks and marshes neighborhood, surprisingly didn’t experience any flooding like neighborhoods just down the street. We took the dry opportunity, sans kayaks, to take in some windy and shockingly cold air.


Walking through the neighborhood park we fondly call “The Yellow Park” (not to be confused with the “Yellow Same Park”, “Red Park”, “Grandma’s Park”,  “Green park”, or the “Tree/lake park”), Ryder noticed mushrooms. Many kinds – warm sugary browns, soft yellows, and bright white ones. He thought it amazing that tree limbs, trashcans, parts of houses, furniture, and many other strange debris along our path to the park were in disarray, but these tiny white soft mushrooms stood strong. They weren’t the ones clustered together, they weren’t tucked tight between strong tree roots inching above the ground, they were out in the open gently wobbling as forceful gusts blew through the park’s field.


Mushrooms take days to form, but this growth is accelerated by moisture. A hurricane does a great job at accelerating the growth. So much opportunity for growth allows the mushroom to multiply in size in a matter of hours. Some also say electricity (think lightning hitting a tree) can accelerate the growth as well.


I was curious about this. Why does the mushroom thrive in a field? I understand the ones that grow near trees as they can gather nutrients from that soil and the tree is a wind break. But what about the ones just smiling in the windy weather? Apparently, some mushrooms grow in fields because they want the sun. They are still so low to the earth that the wind can’t scoop them up, but out in the open they can brown and harden in strength. They are charged by light, thrived to grow in wettest of conditions, and aren’t phased by the wind that is drying them out. Why?


The mushroom, like nearly any other plant or creature’s purpose is to reproduce. The mushroom uses the water it has stored to create air flow. This airflow is caused by evaporation. As mushroom’s water evaporates from it, the air flow allows the mushroom’s spores to be carried away to reproduce elsewhere.

It is amazing, a plant that God has made, thrives in an environment under logs and will create wind to reproduce or that same plant, if grown out in the open will thrive even more! This made me think of the last month of teaching the kids. We are homeschooling again and it, like any classroom, can be challenging. Cody is a wild nut that we adore, but we get frustrated with his shenanigans (ok, and laugh a lot). Last week he was playing the “wook-a-way-wee” in his underpants while challenging us to find “wa-jee-ka-stan” on the map. He giggled excessively knowing Ryder would hunt in the “stans” near Asia and not find the fictional Wajeekastan.

Ryder is getting into more difficult math while Rory is trying to navigate with the distractions of her brothers. In all, it is going brilliantly! But there are days I wonder about the process. Some days it feels like understanding comes in dribbles and other days the light bulbs flash on in multitude and the thoughts flood in of how they can do more to expand a project (Example: they are loving timelines. The concept is so inspiring to them. They are turning everything into a time line. A stack of random pictures last week strung on a ribbon between chairs, they took turns deciding which picture came first. The discussion was amazing!).


These little “student mushrooms” need the tools, the soil to grow. But they also need to be charged occasionally with fresh inspiration. They need a gush of information to overwhelm them so they can slowly absorb it and grow fully. In the end, they will go out and do great things and inspire others. They will take on their surroundings like a mushroom with its helmet on to seize the day!


I encourage you all – mushroom keepers of classrooms and businesses, parents and families, leaders and followers – every day you help cultivate someone’s passion for life, you are investing in many more to come. May the wind of inspiration you cultivate in those around spread fast so others my grow!


10 Replies to “Stand Strong Little Mushroom”

  1. I can’t wait to overwhelm (and be overwhelmed by) the mini Macks and Mama. I suspect that they are the ones who will be inspiring and teaching me with their fresh eyes and points of view!

  2. I do remember the Yellow Park! I love that first picture of Ryder and Cody together; so precious! I love your story on the mushrooms – neat! As always I really enjoy reading your blogs and the pictures are the best!

    Love you all!