I wake up to the cool and the wet. It’s dark where I am. Covered by leaves, growing in the crook of the downed tree limbs, (oak being favorite) I don’t exactly grow. To me it feels more like moving forward but leaving a piece of myself behind. I am not a choice edible like my fancy “cousins” morels and chanterelle all dressed up in their finery and coral like flesh, needing butter and a hot pan to bring out their beauty. Nor am like those others sporting endearing names. Fried Chicken. Dead Man’s Fingers. Tree Ears. Think of me as a pretty piece of ooze. Doing my work quietly in the background, like an efficient clerk who keeps things humming along and then one day retires.