Knowing Our Kin | July Newsletter

Knowing Moss

Our friend Larry Daloz recounts a time when he explored the Whidbey Institute woods with ecofeminist scholar Joanna Macy. As I recall the story, Larry—who possesses an extensive knowledge of moss—said something to Joanna about his admiration of it. With her hand, she pushed his face into the plush green carpet and held it there. “Now you know moss,” she said.

This work—the work of healing society, people, and planet—requires us to get out of our heads and into our hearts and bodies, and to rediscover our kinship with all life on earth.

It is one thing to study, look at, and talk of mosses, and entirely another to press our faces into them. To breathe in their earthy fragrance, and to be cradled by their moist leaves. This intimacy opens the door to awe, and perhaps to love.

When next you see a community of mosses, I invite you to press your face among their delicate leaves and consider them not as objects but as cousins . . . fellow travelers on this journey of life.

Also in this issue: Virtual Gala save-the-date, COVID-19 reopening update, Westgarden volunteering, and an update from Whidbey Island Social Justice Solidarity Net [That] Works on Langley, WA’s Racial Justice Resolution—plus Moving Beyond Hashtags: When #Blacklivesmatter Stops Trending on Social Media.

View the issue and read on:

July 27, 2020

Social Justice


  1. Stephanie Young says:

    I’m new to the Whidbey institute. Yesterday was an awesome first adventure / emotional experience trail running. Today, I came back for a slow focused hike and walk around the labyrinth with my 19 year old daughter. I’m so in love… thank you for this beautiful space. I stuck my face in the moss! I’ll read more of the article! I definitely want more.

    1. Whidbey Institute says:

      Thanks for writing, Stephanie! Welcome to the land! I’m so glad you’re getting to know this special place.