Not long ago or far away but now and nearby there exists a commune of sorts. For centuries the bayous have described themselves. Sometimes rocky, sometimes boggy, sometimes the name on the map has nothing to do with the nature of the bayou and those that dwell there. We visit briefly and breathe air laden with earthiness, a mixture of the many varieties of water, sandy dirt sprinkled with what the trees no longer need.
We immerse ourselves momentarily in the natural cycle of life.
At least, that which we see, hear, smell and touch with our surface senses which is where we typically live ninety-nine percent of our lives. Oh, but if we for brief moments stop to be – to be…what should we say? To be deeper, more aware, less of ourselves and more of something else. To look beyond our sight, to listen to what we cannot hear, to allow unrealized fragrances to wrap around our noses, to gently reach and feel realizing that by touching we leave behind a little of ourselves intertwined with a part of the place we only assume to know.
Each person, each breath, each cell mingles and co-mingles and life goes forward forever changed.
It is almost mystical here. I pause to ponder, then from deep within around a layer of subconsciousness, there is an awareness of something not quite known. Something else is present. Don’t call them wee people, fairies, creatures, woodland spirits or anything else for which we have a title and preconceived definition, they simply prefer to be known as the Mossians.
These Mossians, they are so very much not like people, they are beings that move, float, tumble, swim, evaporate and materialize as one with whatever takes their fancy. They speak, sing, laugh, burp, cry and sometimes they shout out loudly — really loudly. They have no body, yet they are every shape and size. They are compassionate, playful and wise and sometimes they can be slightly mischievous. They know that every being has a reason and place in the universe and theirs is to collect, absorb, make sense of, and nourish new foundations.
They are fully aware, they are fully alive.
One day while walking along a sun and shadowed be-speckled bayou path I came upon the tell-tale sign of a Mossian village, actually it was more like a metropolis as many of their whitish-greenish creviced pods blanketed the forest floor. Stopping to ponder I touch one that has strayed on to the path, it is soft yet spongy with edges like bread crust. It nearly rolls into my hand and
I pick it up to inspect it closer, then thoughtlessly lightly give it a toss to return it to the field of similar shapes.
What I didn’t realize is that there was a connection made; the Mossians are very subtle that way as they have to be in order to survive. I looked into its eyes yet did not see, I held its life in the palm of my hand and then carelessly discarded it. But the Mossian is used to this and in that brief encounter it got what it needed from me as it looked straight into my soul and stole a little bit of my joy.
And why you might wonder did the Mossman chose joy? Because I wasn’t using it.
Mossians are well aware of this sort of neglect. This was done without malice, actually, it was a loving act of care-taking. “For safekeeping until you are ready to use it again.” The Mossian whispered into the still humid air that enveloped the pores of my skin, the follicles of my hair and the particles of my next breath.
I thoughtlessly gave nothing to the Mossian, other than scrutiny. However, the Mossian, being the bigger being, gave me something in return: a spark of insight of which I had no awareness of at the time.
Insight from a Mossian is a precious gift, it is given imbedded only to be unwrapped layer by layer, opened with once abandoned carefreeness and appreciated at a later time. Mossian insight must be unknowingly accepted, engrossed throughout and then it is metamorphosed into a thought leading to action from which a person knows not the genesis. Like a Muse, Mossian inspiration cannot be controlled, it can be poked and prodded, but it cannot be made to perform on demand.
One can only breathe, wait and be ready and willing when the time comes.
OF COURSE, there is no such thing as “Mossians” except in one’s imagination.
Odd little thoughts on Deer Moss. Fred Gannon State Park, Rocky Bayou, Niceville, Florida. October 2015.