I am–and have always been–the person picking up pods from the corner of the playground while others race around or jump rope. I am the mom arranging stones on the riverside while the other adults are…well…not knee deep in mud. One of the down sides of being creative is being conspicuous. I remember a friend I went to see one time in Toronto telling me to “quit picking” as I scoured the beach.
The other day, I was waiting while the children played on a playground, and I spotted a big piece of styrofoam. All around it were these. These pods. I was impressed by the diverse patterns and colours present in the wood, all from one tree. Teal, black freckles, gray lines, brown patches. The insides of pods that had been fermenting there all winter. I had to bring them home. I had to explain to a new acquaintance why I was carrying a pail of musty pods.