Understanding doesn’t preclude wonder.
Take airplanes. I know how they fly. I understand Bernoulli’s principle. The wing is curved on top, and flat on the bottom, so the air molecules over the top accelerate and the pressure above the wing drops to less than the pressure below. At speed, you get lift.
Sure. Next time you fly, take a good, hard look at that 757 and ask yourself whether you really believe a behemoth like that can get off the ground.
And it’s not just airplanes. It’s cell phones. The placebo effect. Soufflés.
And herding dogs! Have you ever seen a border collie in action? It’s astonishing. The dogs can manage the sheep because they’ve been selectively bred, over centuries, to do just that. But to watch a dog shed a ewe (separate it from the rest of the flock) is nevertheless marvelous.
As of today, I’m adding mushrooms to my list.
Back in June, we set up our shiitake operation. We ordered a whole bunch of wooden dowels, inoculated with shiitake spore, from Fungi Perfecti. We cut down a couple of oak trees and sawed them into 4-foot sections. We drilled holes into the logs, hammered in the dowels, and sealed the holes with wax.
And then we waited.
I’ve read all about mushroom reproduction. The spores mate and create a fertile mycelium, which colonizes the log and, eventually, produces the fruiting bodies we know as mushrooms. It’s as far-fetched as the idea that a 757 can actually get off the ground.
Today, we had liftoff. There is a shiitake mushroom growing out of one of our logs. Right out of the wood! It’s wondrous.