The Contrarian

This is Matthew. A self-proclaimed contrarian. Matthew and I met just a few short weeks ago at my most favorite Thai restaurant, located in Camden, Maine. I was sitting at a nearby table while he was eating lunch and playing attentively with a little girl named Py, who is the owner/chef’s daughter (and the next most delicious thing to the food!). Matthew and I struck up a conversation and as it turns out, he is a mushroom forager. He supplies the majority of the mushrooms for the particular Thai restaurant we were eating at as well as other local restaurants. He showed me the most beautiful basket of black trumpet mushrooms he’d picked earlier that day. One thing led to another and at 7 am the following morning I was on a 3-hr. “foray” in the woods with a most fascinating and generous man. He lives his life simply – a 2-room house with no electricity, no running water, no phone – just as he likes it. He grows a staggering array of vegetables as well as raises chickens. Did I mention he designs and weaves his own foraging baskets that would fetch top dollar at a NYC shop? And the canoe, lying in his yard, which he built by hand, is not only functional but a piece of art you would proudly display for all to see. Matthew, you touched me deeply. Thank you for sharing yourself with me. I’m eternally and immeasurably grateful.

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