Goodbye, Mossy Moss


You joined our family on a beautiful July day, the day we entered the Redwood Forest for the first time, a day each of us will never forget, a day with hi-def images of natural grandeur vacuum sealed into our memories, a day of feeling impossibly tiny but connected to it all. We found you pressed up against the bosom of a 180 footer, on a hike 3/4 of a mile off the scenic byway weaving through the feet of gentle giants.

The girls, they immediately felt the tinge of parental joy a child experiences only whilst stuffing white fluff into an overpriced, poorly stitched teddy at Build-A-Bear Workshop, a burning hot love that is inherently temporary. All passion is fleeting. That’s the deal on the table.

You spent your early days on a folded square of paper towel, inside a rinsed-out disposable cup from an ice cream shop. You were nestled in tight between both of my daughters, in the 2nd row seats of a jet black Toyota Highlander — your ‘first home’. There, you shared sips of bottled spring water — taking turns like a good boy three inch toupee of moss. When we eventually checked into the Green Lake Cottage Duplex in the Green Lake neighborhood of Seattle, you checked into the bathroom and were tickled with tap water multiple times per day. I want to believe you were happy, even if you didn’t see much of us as we explored Seattle.

When it came time to fly back home, there was no question: you had to make the cross-country trip too. Into a Ziploc bag you went, like a bag of carry-on hash the SeaTac TSA surely have been seeing a lot of this year. Surprisingly, no one batted an eye about your presence in our bag, but your role as friend #1 had since been relinquished to a dirty pebble or a root beer bottlecap, I can’t recall.

You entered our home with less fanfare than you probably expected. It was me who unpacked you and found a clear plastic container left from take-out grocery store pasta salad. You sat on the ledge between the kitchen and dining room next to a pink water spritzer. My wife and I watered you and kept you fresh, while the kids ran past without ever noticing you. Don’t worry, it happens to the best. They are kids and their whimsy can be cruel. One day you’re a prince, the next you’re a pauper.

Today, I decided, after a month of near-neglect, that it was time to say goodbye. You were a good…piece of moss. You stood as a beautiful memory of a time and a place but unlike that memory, you’ve been tossed into the trash can. Your cold pasta salad vessel, into the recycling bin.

Goodbye, Mossy Moss. We’ll love you forever until we forget you. May the next part of your journey be fruitful with as few fruit flies as possible.

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