“You inspire my curiosity,” my friend Tricia said to me recently.

We were enjoying a girls’ day at Susan’s cabin with a group of friends.  Although we are scattered all over the state, we get together somewhat regularly to catch up. This was one such gathering. 

My friend’s curiosity was piqued, she said, by the adventures I document through words and photos. She was also intrigued by my recent contribution to the group chat: 

“Is there anyone that has had good experiences with foraged foods/drinks?” Susan asked.  She was hoping to add some natural treats to the menu for our get together. 

“What about sumac tea,” I responded. 

The cold-brew tea, made from ripe red berries of Staghorn sumac, is a yummy late summer beverage packed with Vitamin C. 


Our virtual conversation turned to a lively discussion on the differences between the non-poisonous red-berried sumac and the poisonous white-berried sumac. 

The conversation made her wonder other plants could be foraged, Tricia said as she flipped through a guide of nature’s bounty. 

My goal as a writer has always been to inspire others to wonder about the world around them. Mission accomplished, if only in this single instance.

That feeling was replaced with maddening frustration as our day together came to an end. 

Prior to our get-together, I agreed to Susan’s request to show her how to use a GPS. Earlier that day I hid two containers full of chocolates in the woods and made note of the coordinates so my friends could try to find them. 

As usual, I had overbooked my day. I needed to go by a certain time to be somewhere else. We spent most of the day chatting, eating and catching up. Hours quickly passed and before I knew it, it was almost time to leave.


I pressed the group to get started on the activity. I anxiously coaxed them outdoors, urging them to follow the arrow on the GPS screen.

All was going well … until someone spotted a bee.  

Orange-belted bumblebee. Angel Truman photo

Yup. A bee stopped every single one of my friends abruptly in their tracks. They circled around it. They swooned over its colors. They snapped pictures of it. They compared photos to see who had the better shot and which angles were the best. 

I impatiently stood on the sidelines. Their curiosity was eating up my precious time! 

That bee held them hostage way longer than it should have. They eventually broke away and after a minor moose track distraction, they found a container of treats. Finally!

But, I had to go. I left the coordinates for the other treasure and headed toward my next commitment.

Later that evening, Angel shared an incredible photo of the bee. An orange-belted bumblebee. Its vibrant colors and intricately veined wings were stunning against a background of yellow wildflowers.

I had cut their time with this engaging creature short and missed sharing this delightful discovery with my inquisitive friends. And, for what? That commitment I rushed off to did not meet the expectations I had envisioned. It was rather dull, actually.

For me, it was a timely lesson and an important reminder: slow down, stop being so busy, and spend more time with people – and places – that matter.

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