The other night the sky was clear and star-strewn, the moon waning but still nearly full and low and bright just above the dark line of trees. A streak of moonlight shifted and glittered along the surface of the pond and long, cool-colored shadows lay down past tree and fence and barn. A strong breeze blew from the south, balmy as a late spring day and with the same sense of expectancy and possibility. With it came the moist and cool smells of earth. The odor of the earth respiring. The same dirt furrowed by gophers, churned by cows' hooves and dug
and turned with shovels by us humans to house and nourish our kale and turnips,
tomatoes and sunflowers and bee balm.
We filled our lungs with the rich smell, displacing, we
imagined, whatever bad and sour and unhealthy may formerly have been
residing there. The incongruous smell of spring on the cusp of winter.