Pine Street Episode 305: Hints of summer

Allison strolls slowly toward Jeeves’ house and garden, taking in the lovely gentle quality of the cloudy late-spring morning. 

At nearly every corner, she fights the urge to turn back toward home. Toward another cup of coffee, and her own yard, and safety.

But her feet continue their pilgrimage, and before her mind can process one last chance to turn back, she hears Emil’s voice.

“Good morning, miss,” he calls out. “Nice morning, eh?” 

“Um, yes, it is. And good morning, Emil,” Allison offers. There is an awkward pause while he beams his smile at her, and she cannot think of anything to say. “How are you?” she finally manages.

“A nice morning for digging, I mean,” he replies. “Not too hot, although the soil is heavy from the damp.” 

“Jeeves mentioned you are starting a new bed?” Allison feels her cheeks cool to a more natural temperature as the focus of their conversation shifts. “What will it become?”

Emil laughs. “Whatever it wants, I suppose.” She flushes again. “No, no, I am not making fun,” he goes on. “I only mean that Miss Jeeves, she likes to let Mother Nature take her course. We start things, she says, but Mother Nature finishes them.”

Allison steps closer to the mounds of dark chocolate-colored earth, kneels down. “May I?” she asks.

“Of course,” Emil answers. She scoops a handful of soil, squeezes it, lets it go. It holds its shape just a bit, crumbles around the edges. “Yes, miss, you see it there. Some clay. I dig in lots of compost and old leaves to break it up. The plants, their roots need the room to breathe.” 

“Mine is full of rocks,” Allison says. “And so weird. Some places all clay, others all dust. I’m not even sure where to start.” 

“There’s our rock pile,” Emil nods to a corner of the garden. “It’s the history, you see. Volcanoes and glaciers and all, leave these rocks behind. They are ancient. Beautiful, no?”

Allison suddenly sees the rocks through Emil’s eyes: relics of the vast scope of history, geology, geography. 

She looks up, beams her own smile back at him.

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