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Wet Knees

Wet Knees

🍄 Low to the ground, knees wet through my jeans from the damp forest floor, I can’t believe they’re real.

I mean, look at them.

Fifty or so little friends, sprouting up from a mix of pine needles, moss and grass.

How are they real?

The woods I’m in aren’t even that old; less than 14 years ago this was just a field. Now it is an abandoned Christmas tree farm.

Fourteen years. It’s both nothing and everything. That’s younger than my oldest child.

I mean, shit, I have boxer shorts that are older. (Okay, most of them are older, to be honest. I probably need new boxers.)

But nature taking things back, these mushrooms pushing through the forest floor—it’s magic.

As winter creeps closer and closer, these last days of fall are so wonderful. The wetness. The cold. It makes me feel alive. Getting to kneel down in this small woods, see these little friends, I love it. I love tuning into it all.

A bunch of essays, photos and thoughts by Pat Castaldo.