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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Friday, August 8, 2008


If you think about it, moss stands for everything the 21st century is not: green, soft, slow-growing, of little use. It's prevalent in Maine, with the dampness and the low light. I scrape it from the roof and the sidewalk but only grudgingly - something should remind us that technology is a relatively new species on the earth - and with some glee let it grow in the front lawn in the shade on the south side, and on the roots of the giant blue spruce in the backyard. It's not hurting anyone or anything. It colonizes, to be sure, and spreads, but in a most unwar-like fashion. It has no hard edges. It understands its place and does not seek personal fulfillment.

I'm sure someday someone will discover moss can cure cancer, or grow in space, or reduce to some exquisite scent for ladies of the 16th arrondissement. Moss gets its own branch of botany (bryology), and naturally all -ologists want to win the Nobel Prize, but I hope you moss guys are really there for the fun of it. I assure you that it's all right if some part of nature remains unbaked. Your reward is in the leaven.

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