The Song of the Soil

Once upon a time there was a parcel of unhappy dirt.

“I hate myself!” It said. “I’m dirt! I live in a stupid, dead, empty lot. I grow weeds. It’s nothing!”

But one day with a clunk and a crunch the dirt was ploughed under, amended, opened back up to the sun, trellised, planted with small grape vines, fed and watered.

“I love you,” said the soaking water to the dry dirt, and ancient waters fallen from the stars soaked into the molten fires risen from the core. The soil blushed.

Then this little dirt fringe, this tattered tent of clod and dust, this corner junk yard of the earth — past home of lost leg, corroded coin, seed, shard, bone, spoon, butterfly wing, broken toy — this life-maker and death-eater, this nursery-morgue, seed bag and graveyard, this odd compounded, mingled, magic mix kissed the new grape vines planted in it. Tiny grape roots threaded the dark, welcoming soil pores below them, and small green stalks pierced the bright air above.

And all the elements of the soil danced and praised. Nitrogen shouted, phosphorus hooted, calcium clapped. Magnesium and sulphur began to waltz, and oxygen and hydrogen and all the other elemental voices of the earth sang the song of the soil.

“We love you!” sang the elements, “We love, love you, love you!”

“I love too!” sang the soil to all the budding vines. ” I love you too!”

The elements danced with the soil, the soil with the roots, the roots with the stalks, the stalks with leaves and the new leaves danced with the tiny green chalices of life ascending from the applauding soil to the singing sky above.


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