Gathering Moss

We’ve probably all heard the old adage, “a rolling stone gathers no moss.” I’ve wondered for decaded whether gathering moss was good or bad. Should one strive to be a rolling stone (lower case) or resist it.

I’ve asked a lot of people and had a lot of conversation but never gotten an answer I can accept as final. But, up till now, I didn’t have the teeming millions to help me out. How about it, Dopers, should we endeavor to gather moss?

As a practical matter, moss is useless stuff. I’ve never heard of anyone eating it or intentionally cultivating it. It makes a fair filler in a brick patio, but if it gets out of hand it’s slick.

Philosophically, it’s a sign on permanence. It says, “I have been here awhile. I belong here. I have roots.”

Bony supermodel Kate Moss has many fans, of course, and many of them would love to gather Kate.

Moss gathering, when done to excess, can be destructive. There was a moratorium placed on moss gathering in the Monongahela National Forest last year. According to the story at

My mother used to gather Spanish moss to send to a cousin of mine who managed a flower shop. My cousin seemed to think it was a good thing, though she had to dry it and shoo the bugs out of it.

This is a hoot! I’m intrigued that moss is useless but so much of it is being gathered that a moritorium had to be declared. Is Spanish Moss actually moss?

Still, I don’t know what the adage means.

No. It’s actually more closely related to…the pineapple. Here’s a good page about it.

Well, if you’re a ‘rolling stone’ you’re active, moving about achieving things.

If you’re gathering moss you’re lethargic, depressed, not advancing yourself.

Better to be a rolling stone. Better still to be a Rolling Stone.