We are having our traditional Early February downpour. Our atmospheric river has cousins drenching California, the southeast, and everyone from Iowa to the East and Virginia to the north. So I thought I’d talk about moss.
Auntie Katie posted pictures yesterday of her visit to our Japanese Garden here in Portland, saying she remembered walking there as a kid and trying to help me figure out how to grow moss in Salinas. I remember those trips too, wanting to bring that lush green to dry Salinas, and failing miserably.
When you grow up in a desert (and let’s face it, anything south of San Francisco is basically a desert), the sidewalks are always grey, the concrete is always hard, the corners are always sharp. It’s like seeing Neil Armstrong’s footprints on the moon. There is nothing to erode them.
But in a rain-rich environment, corners get soft and sidewalks get green. Tombstones and birdbath become gardens. Walls become magical.
And if you have the emotional strength to get into real clothes and shoes and go out to see these marvels, your day will be better. I promise.
Yesterday was the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, the beginning of winter. It was 30 degrees at 8 in the morning. So of course I went for a walk.
Two scarves, sweater, coat, fuzzy hat and gloves made the walking pleasant.
Our own tiny front yard has become soft and green with moss, and this morning it had a frosty white coating on it, so delicate it melted away when I breathed on it. There wasn’t enough water around to freeze puddles, except for a tiny bit near a lamp post.
By the time I walked around the neighborhood, the frost was fading.
I noticed this very happy, mossy stepping stone in a yard, not far from some tiny pansies which ares till blooming in spite of the cold. These flowers are tougher than they look.