21 Apr The Spirituality of Moss
The green plushness welcomes me. It yields to my feet, supporting my weight, carrying me aloft above the soil. I can feel the power of the Earth beneath the moss, I am connected to Her, yet I am cushioned and held, like a precious thing.
There is something so fascinating about the moss…how varied it is…bright green, olive, dark, yellowish, and even red. Long and curly, short and puffy, tiny pine trees, fernlike fronds…it is captivating. How it all melds together, growing in amongst each other, each having its individual characteristics, but coexisting not only side by side, but on top and within each other. With none seeming to suffer.
I love how the moss is so resilient! It can be torn up from the earth, completely relocated, and it will grow again. On rocks, on wood, on pressure treated lumber! So delicate and easily disturbed, and yet, so strong, so flexible!
The moss exudes happiness! It is playful and wild! It speaks to me. It offers me gifts to tempt me out of my complacency. Sitting on my deck, I see something glinting in the sunlight against the rich greenness. I must investigate. Barefoot, in complete trust of the dense carpeting, I venture out, following the teasing shimmer, keeping my eye steady so as not to lose my destination. As I near, a treasure is offered up from the soil…A piece of broken glass or metal, an entire spoon or old glass bottle, some odd or end that the land has held in its caches for decades, and is now ready to release. It asks me to take it, to relieve it of this thing that it has held on to for so long, and now no longer wants. I take it, place it on a makeshift altar to Dumavati – the Goddess of the Void – an altar to the decay of the world, and the discarded things we no longer need. We are grateful for how they served us in the past, we are grateful to have unburied them and that they are pose a threat no longer. We honor them as a reminder that everything goes into the ground again at some point, and will emerge again.
These days, the moss offers me fewer shards of past pain. Instead, she has been giving me blueberries and Lady Slippers. Chipmunks skittering across her surface and wild, fantastic beetles. Mushrooms in bright orange and deep burgundy. Every spring I wait with eagerness until I can see the verdant carpet reemerge from under the snow and ice. I tenderly step out, checking my favorite spots…the rock outcropping with a carpet 4” thick; the thicket of low scrub blueberries that, if I’m lucky, I will get to nibble from before the birds and squirrels eat them all; the patch of Lady Slipper leaves that suddenly emerged 4 years ago, and sends up 3-5 new plants every year.
As the warmth returns, I watch the flowers begin to unfurl from the patch, large, pink, vulva-like pockets hanging delicately from a single stem. They excite me, reminding me that the Goddess lives here, and loves here.
Summer brings mushrooms, and berries, and shade…fronds of fascinating shapes and kinds that are reproducing in hidden and mysterious ways…cool softness to let me know that the heat isn’t all that there is…
As the fall unfolds, the mushrooms multiply, damp explosions that show up suddenly, magically emerging fully grown where there was nothing the day before…the moss is very delicate now, as the soil beneath it is so wet it turns to mud with too much pressure. I tread carefully, if at all…She has given me so much, I want to protect her in her tender time… The leaves come, they blanket Her in the warm colors of the last gasps of life. Soon, the gardener will blow them away, so the snow can properly protect Her.
When it is white again, andI can’t see her, I miss her… Still, I know she is there, waiting to greet me again soon. We love each other, the moss and I…