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Write every day: What is the moss of New York?


Moss in Riverdale Park, Bronx, New York City, August 1, 2020

Though moss is a simple plant, we shouldn’t underestimate its wisdom. It’s one of the oldest, wisest, and most experienced forms of life. Moss is an opportunist making the most of what’s available. It lies in wait, sometimes for years, for the right conditions to grow and reproduce.

Moss exhibits the skill of anabiosis When water is scarce, moss will completely dry out and play dead for as long as needed. But they aren’t dead at all. In their drying, they lay the groundwork for their renewal. Sprinkle them with a little water and the moss will spring back to life as if nothing had happened. They can also regenerate themselves from just a miniscule fragment.

Moss is the first life form to reinhabit an area that’s experienced devastation and loss. It’s the plant of second chances. Moss is hopeful. Despite destruction and stress, moss finds a way in and sets the stage for more life to return. Through their actions of collecting and holding water and contributing to the nutrient cycle of land, the will of moss changes the world, turning barren rock to gardens with enough time.

As I walk through my city of New York now, devoid of so much life and so much of what I love about it, I wonder what our proverbial moss will be. What will come back first to literally create the conditions that will seed the path for restoration and revitalization? What will create a haven for life and growth on the cultural bedrock of our city? What and who will set down roots here to build an enduring legacy for others, and how?

If only humans and our dreams could be as resilient as moss. If only we could find a way to see this time of COVID-19 only as a holding pattern. Not something that destroys us but something that makes us stronger, more resilient, more determined to thrive in the days ahead. Unfortunately we don’t have that seemingly-magical power of anabiosis. We can’t curl up in a ball, dry out, and wait for better times. We have to keep living, breathing, moving, working, eating, and growing. We’ll have to make a way out of no way, and the only way we can do that is together.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post,,, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at and Instagram at


2 thoughts on “Write every day: What is the moss of New York?

  1. I found myself reading your post and thinking: Mmm, i like that she tells me about moss, but also tells me about humans. Now you question this at the end, but maybe we are more like moss than we realize. I hope so! Thank you for sharing and making me ponder.


    Posted by Turtle Thinking | August 4, 2020, 4:17 am

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