Everything that glitters is not gold, and sometimes a thing called moss is really algae. Where is she going with this? I could have an Amazon.com problem, if I were not careful. I recently ordered two marimo moss balls from Amazon. These moss balls come from a lake in Japan, or so the story goes. The story also goes that lots of Japanese people keep these moss balls as pets.
The Japanese are a curious folk. I am also curious, and having a rather unhealthy interest in moss, I ordered a couple. The truth I discovered about Marimo moss balls is that they are not really moss at all, but a fuzzy algae. I am aware of the icky vibes out there surrounding this talk of algae.
Marimos look like a mossy plush green ball. You plop them in a container of distilled water, let them have a bit of light, and watch them grow. Actually, they grow only a few millimeters a year, so watching them grow might be only slightly more entertaining than watching paint dry.
Marimos look like balls because the current of the water in their natural habitat rolls them around enough that they become balls. They make great additions to aquariums, or they can just be algae pets on your office desk or in your kitchen window. I was intrigued, thought the story was pretty good, and I am now the proud owner of two Marimos. They arrived from Amazon in a small Ziploc bag.
I have named them Fred and Ethel. I used to be able to tell one from the other when I first put them in their containers, but now I’m not so sure. Pictured here in my kitchen window is Fred. I think. Neither of them answers to their names, so it really isn’t an issue. I’m hoping I will be able to tell them apart eventually by their personalities.
Marimos are foolishness. And odd, and different. They are a piece of a faraway place, and having them is just fun nonsense. They are alive and interesting and difficult to justify having. Trust me, when my husband asked, “Why do we have these?”
I really had no good answer.
He truly does endure so much.
Marimos are not endangered. They are not in need of rescue, and there is no noble reason to have one. Yet I love natural things, and seeing the naturally unusual things our God creates up close. How often do we do that? How often do we really look at His handiwork up close and personal? We are in much too much of a hurry most of the time for such nonsense. But if He took a moment to make it, surely we can take one to appreciate it.
At their current rate of growth, I should be in a nursing home before Fred or Ethel will need to upsize. It is true that everything that glitters is not gold, but sometimes you can find a treasure in something as simple and weird as a ball of moss, er algae.
“We all need a little nonsense in our lives.” Who said that?