Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bigger Picture Moment: Mossy Life

I love our woods.  They are small and sloping (and technically they're not 'ours' at all) but they are rambling and beautiful nonetheless, especially in early spring when the creep and choke of foliage haven't yet discouraged entrance.  Our woods beg to be explored. 

(I love our life.  It is small and enclosed, but it is rambling and beautiful nonetheless, especially in such a season as this, when we're full of hope and wonder and exhaustion.  Our lives beg to be lived.)

On this particular walk in the hour before sunset, I was enchanted by the moss.  Did I never notice moss before there was a camera in my hands?  Really, it's only moss -- fungus? -- and that means it has no motion.  Moss is without action or excitement.  Moss is soft and dreary, not bright and brilliant or hoped for, usually. 

(In this particular mode of mothering, when our children are so vibrantly needy, I am taken over by them.  Did I never expect to be so overshadowed by their needs?  What am I, but a mother?  I wait beside them, urging and guiding, but ultimately stagnant.  I am soft and tired, not bright or brilliant, but this IS what I hoped for.  Is it what I expected?)

But on this walk, I sought it out.  It wasn't hard; moss is amazingly abundant in early April when the ground is damp and cool.  It must serve some magnificent purpose, right?  It must be the foundation of the whole forest; the trees and vines and loam wouldn't be the same without the moss's sheltering carpet -- its capturing clutch of moisture.

(Right now, I am sought out.  I am amazingly needed and must be present in every part of their world.  For the necessary accouterments of life, I am indispensable, but what am I urging them towards?  Independence: they'll rise up and away.  And here I'll remain, quiet and sheltering from below, resting at last while they wave their limbs in the sky.)

Surely I'm not the only one who sees the beauty in this quiet, hidden plant.  Certainly, the moss serves a role beyond what its humble facade would suggest.  It is calm and often stepped-upon.  It is diverse and lovely.  It is not without a voice, but its whispered song is saved for the most observant. 

(Surely I'm not the only one who sees the beauty in this quiet, hidden life.  Certainly, motherhood serves a role beyond what its humble facade would suggest.  I am calm and often stepped-upon, but I AM diverse and lovely.  I am not without a voice, and my whispered song will be heard if only I venture to share it.)

We're seeing the Bigger Picture through simple moments -- moments that force us to stop and take notice of the ways our worlds are important, meaningful, and beautiful. Please join us today!  Grab the button, link up and then go forth and encourage the two people before you while they are walking this journey of intentional living.


  1. Oh, this comparison back and forth is just brilliant and beautiful. Loved this bigger picture!

  2. This is a lovely, if melancholic (in a good way), analogy. Though, unlike the moss which I think tends to remain more or less in stasis, my sense is our identities don't stop with motherhood. As the little ones move towards independence, mothers need not be left behind. They never stop being mothers, but the mother-child relationship can grow and change and attain a new dynamic. And mothers can always take on new identities as they fill their lives with other things they had always wanted to do. As glorious as motherhood is, sometimes I think women are at their most beautiful when their children are adults and they bloom even more fully as a person of their own and embrace the next phase of life.

  3. Your woods look so beautiful! Wonderful for rambling through and contemplating motherhood. Moss -- and motherhood -- unexpectedly enchanting! What a neat comparison you make. :)

  4. This made me feel blessed. Blessed to be a mother. Blessed to have eyes that see. Blessed to have read this today. You did a beautiful job intwining the moss and motherhood. I loved it!
    My bigger picture moment is from a different perspecitive....that of a mom with teenagers. :) I linked up...Thanks for providing this. Can't wait to read the others! :)
    Be blessed!

  5. I feel stepped upon, yet needed all at the same time.

    They will be independent anyway. You are right. However, gentle loving guidance moves them in a direction to do the same. It is a cycle.

    It was an eloquent post. I doubt that I will ever look at moss the same way now.

  6. I love our mossy bricks surrounding our one big tree. No woods here. But the quiet life, softening the edges for those I adore, persistently growing even when I feel stagnant.

    I'm reading the secret garden with my big girl. This caught my eye yesterday, "Children's as good as 'rithmetic to set you findin' out things." Though we feel consumed by this role (I do), I know it also pushes me in so many wondrous directions.

  7. Sarah, what a beautiful comparision to motherhood. I often feel like the moss, too. But, as you said, it's beautiful in its own right.

  8. I agree with Alita -- I won't look at moss the same way again. So much of this had me nodding my head: the surprise at how needed I am; weighing how I feel about it; resolutely deciding to continue with sharing as I make my way.

    Also, you are just amazing at how you structure some of your writing! The way you go about presenting your thoughts just blows me away sometimes.

  9. So lovely, it kind of reminds me of the giving tree...the fungus version :-)

    I loved the back and forth. Also, you are brilliant. You may be soft and tiring but the very act, dare I say art of mothering takes brilliance.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?