Thursday, January 22, 2009
My mother-in-law gave me a book about moss for Christmas. I have to admit that when I opened the package, I didn't know quite what to say but I was thinking "This is gonna be a yawner for sure". I could not have been more wrong. GATHERING MOSS by Robin Wall Kimmerer is a wonderful read and I learned more about moss than I ever knew there was to know and that was just in the first chapter. Ms. Kimmerer is not only a skilled naturalist, she's one heckuva writer. Perhaps it's her Potawatomi heritage but she has a gift for seeing the world with an acuity that most of us can only dream of and she translates that vision to the page in a most engaging way. Which is to say that she writes with her heart as much as with her intellect.
In Chapter Two, I learned that there are 22,000 species of moss worldwide. I'm guessing 21,000 of those are present on Gabriola. I'm kidding of course but this is one mossy island to be sure. I also learned that moss thrives in places where nothing else can, like smack dab in the middle of the number 4 screwed to a rock at the end of a driveway.