I was walking with my eyes on the way before me. Moss compressed beneath my feet and tickled my palms where it had spread to cloak the trees. Leaves ruddy with autumn were scattered through the forest in moist layers, like tiramisu. I held my breath so as not to miss the silence.

And then, just before the ground dipped into a tinkling brook, my gaze caught on pops of butter-yellow. I crouched. Mushrooms had pushed their button heads up into the world, to peer around at the dripping forest, to draw a young woman’s attention to those things that are small enough to miss were she not looking down. Small but beautiful things.

Why do I, at times, forget this? Why do I fix my eyes on the horizon—when it is only ever the step before me, and not the ones ahead, that carries me forward? Only now, having tripped over brambles and fallen flat on my face, do I remember that beauty is found in the moment.

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