Have you ever been thirsty? So thirsty you can’t even move—thirsty like you’re buried in the hard, dry earth and you’re so far down you can’t see the sky to even hope the clouds that have rolled in will bring the rain?
I know that thirst. I know it and it’s maddening. All I need is a good soak—a deep drink—and I can spring from my prison and open my arms to the earth and release all this pent-up potential.
I have to be careful though. I can’t just raise my cap at the slightest sprinkle, lest the cruel, hot sun dry me out and send me shriveling before I’ve had time to grow—to show the forest and its ants and trees and mice and beetles all my glory. I need a long shower—the kind that you feel down to your bones.
So I wait. So much waiting. Maybe just a couple times a season. And I see the sky so briefly. . .
Now what’s this? What is this rumble I can hear from beneath the earth? A flash of light penetrating the soil? I taste it now, on my tongue. Cool. Wet. Is this the one?
And the shower passes and my thirst is slaked. It’s time—oh joy, it’s time! Finally! Behold my white cap! I’m going to open, let loose my spores and glory, glory for a few short days before I. . .
Retreat again beneath the earth. Then I’m thirsty once more. Now I’m. . .
Photograph by Brian Stricker
Words by Gregory Josephs