Stopping to Pet Moss

Musings on Today’s Walk

I live in a rainy place. Moss is everywhere, but I never get over its wonder and beauty.

When I go for walks, I try to pay attention to things that get overlooked. 

Moss. Dead leaves. Blooming flowers. Wilting flowers. Raindrops. All sorts of small and seemingly unimportant things. 

I love this leaf even though it’s old, brown, and dry.

And, yes, I stop to smell roses and to pet moss. My hands like the feel of moss. It’s like botanical velvet. A carpet for fairies. I touch bark, feel the roughness. Like a child, I pick up leaves and pretty rocks and take them home. Is that because I never grew up?

I chose not to crop out this wilting rose. It has its own beauty. In Japanese flower arrangements, one wilted blossom is often included to remind us that life is finite.

As people get older, they too get overlooked and dismissed as unimportant, with nothing to offer.

I’m hardly the only person who has discovered the beauty of small, overlooked things, but the faster the world goes, the faster time flies, we forget to stop and look. Stop and to touch. To listen. And think.

Writers notice even the smallest details and describe them. Walt Whitman watched “A noiseless patient spider” and compared the filaments it casts to his soul, flinging gossamer filaments, hoping they’ll catch on something. Another soul. Another heart. Some of us cast gossamer filaments that never catch anywhere or catch on the wrong thing. Because of Whitman’s spider and Charlotte, I’ve never looked at spiders the same way.

Robert Frost noticed “A Considerable Speck” scuttling across the page where he’d been writing. How easy it would be to drown it with a drop of ink. The speck is so tiny it seems to have no room for feet, let alone a brain, yet it moves with purpose and seems aware of the threat represented by Frost’s pen. Of course, the poet doesn’t drown the speck but lets it go on its way. I no longer drown or squash specks. Most of the time. Fruit flies don’t count. Spiders do.

I fell in love with Japanese culture when I was in high school. I can’t remember if it was in my creative writing class when I discovered haiku. I was enchanted by the three-line, seventeen syllable poems. Or maybe I fell in love with Japanese culture at the Seattle Asian Art Museum while gazing at netsuke, tiny exquisitely sculpted fobs that fastened inro boxes to an obi. I love how the artists often depicted tiny creatures, frogs or beetles, in remarkable detail.

I just like the way this plant looks with its fuzzy white edges. I think it might be an artemisia. It grows in a planter next to the entrance of an apartment complex. People just drive or walk past it and its companions.
This picture appeals to me because of the contrast of colors and textures and the way the ivy looks like it’s embracing the rock.
Just because. Some people consider ivy to be a pest, but this one is helping hold a grassy slope in place.
A Noiseless Patient Spider
Walt Whitman - 1819-1892

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

(This poem is in the public domain)
The creation of a tiny architect.

8 thoughts on “Stopping to Pet Moss”

  1. Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any recommendations for rookie blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

    Ah, I just noticed what the problem might be, perhaps the word “buy.” Perhaps
    “Proxy.” Or both.


    1. Somehow your comment wound up in my spam file, Joleen. I didn’t find it until today and that was purely by accident. Now that I’ve approved this post and taken it out of the spam file, future comments should show up with no issues. I haven’t been at this very long myself, so I’m not exactly a font of wisdom. Read WP’s instructions on how to set up your blog. Look for further information on YouTube. Persist. Have fun. Try not to bang your head on the keyboard. Best of luck!


  2. There is a haiku Facebook page that is very active. Bet they would love it if you joined. I write haiku but do not submit. Too scared.


    1. Thanks, Peggy. I’ll have to look for the haiku page. Aw, don’t be scared. All they can do it say no. It’s cool that you write haiku. My first published piece was a haiku.


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