Get this Boiseans. There is a magical woman in your midst who throws events for strangers in the whole PNW to fill them with wonder. No amount of money can get you invited. You have to be lucky enough to find an invitation such as a scroll in a bottle washing up on the ocean or (in my case) a geode hidden across the valley. Her name is The Wondersmith.
I was privileged to be a participant in her Geode event and able to invite a date. I took my girl friend Madi. I can still remember the drive, covered with whistle pigs that I found myself wanting to adopt, while Madi began to worry that this was not a journey to a magical feast but rather an elusive way for a serial killer to murder us. Assuring her we were safe we arrived as specified at the Kuna Caves on April 15th, 11:30 AM.
Upon descent, we were greeted by a circle of participants and two figures with flower wreaths. Nurture and Nature who would be leading this journey. After introductions, they revealed a long table with flowers and eco-friendly looking plates and cutlery. Nature (The Wondersmith) told us to sit around the table as she told us her inspiration for the event.
We nibbled on rock looking appetizers of red grapes wrapped in wild violet and blackberry goat cheese rolled in crushed cookies. Inspired by an early childhood memory of opening a geode crystal with her father, which had left her awestruck, Nature asked us to share a story where we had been filled with wonder. It was truly a magical and intimate moment.
After everyone had shared, they began to bring out condiments. All of a sudden bowls were landing around you with ingredients such as blueberry tahini sauce, turmeric sour cream, and harissa butter. I couldn’t help but feel my inner child glee as if he had landed in the imaginary feast of Neverland with Robin Williams. Then landing on the table were hammers for each of us, we were informed we would be cracking into lunch.
Nature had taken root vegetables, coated them in fragrant herbs and big leaves, and roasted them in clay shells covered in cocoa powder in Dutch Ovens. We all began to pick our next rock course, summoning my best intuition I picked a rock like the rest of the participants and quickly got to hammering it open. While those around found purple potatoes and sweet potatoes, bright beets, and glowing orange yams… I found a rock.
Instantly, I assumed the worst. Would I get lunch? I was embarrassed for standing out in the crowd. So much so that I didn’t even notice that across the table, two others were excited…. they had also found rocks. We were able to pick other rocks with root vegetables to eat while also being able to keep our newfound treasures. We all ate till our bellies were stuffed. Nurture and Nature then informed us it was time to explore the cave.
Grabbing Madi I knew what it truly was, a treasure hunt. Bolting, I could feel my curiosity pulling us like a fish on a line. Whatever wonder lie next was going to be ahead. iPhones at hand we scoured the cave, crawling in crevices, bouldering the walls. Everyone in the group eventually found sparkling crystals, that we later learned were created by The Wondersmith by melting glass. Then dessert was served. Rainbow fruit bowls and chocolate geodes (with the option to drop them in milk to make cocoa and bags to bring them home and share some of the wonders.)
I can easily say it was one of the best meals and experiences I’ve ever had in my life. Strangers became forever bonded. The event was handled effortlessly from my lens and filled with magic and awe. Madi and I were left with so much wonder and treats. Looking back, this event came at a point when I was questioning the magic in my own life. It was the first of many rainbow meals to come my way and inspired my creativity to reach newer horizons.