Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses

Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses


by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Mosses are ancient and tiny. To the casual observer, they might not seem too interesting, if only for the fact they require a magnifying lens to really understand what they look like. But to Robin Wall Kimmerer, mosses are beautiful, water-loving, intricate creatures that teach us about the dynamic and complex relationships that all living things share.

A friend suggested I read this book, and at first I was not really that excited about reading an entire book on the life cycle of moss. But after reading the preface, it was clear to me that this book would be about so much more. Kimmerer relates the world of mosses to her own life with a husband and grown daughter and brings the reader through her journey of moss (and self-) discovery. Her close relationship to the earth, guided by her Native American roots, is evident in her expressions of admiration (one could even call it love) of these little plants that have learned to survive for millions of years.

I never thought that reading about the reproductive cycle of a moss could bring me to near tears, but Kimmerer?? touching and emotional explanation of the tenacity and will to live that these mosses share with us did just that. This book will appeal to botanists as well as readers who have little understanding of plants. Kimmerer?? unique view of the world will surely inspire you to take a second look, not just at mosses, but at what it means to be alive.

This book will be discussed at this season?? first meeting of Nature?? Narratives Book Discussion Group on October 11 from 5 to 6 pm. Check out all of our must-reads.

Liz Haegele
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