SOIL: Song of Soil and Stone By Sharon Collins

Week 2 Word Soil
Word Count 491

Song of Soil and Stone
Sharon Collins

August sun freckling her nose, she plays in the garden, hat and gloves cast aside. The soil is singing to her today. It has sung to her since that day in France so many years ago. She has heard many hundred verses, sung, chanted, and hummed by all its various voices, and she has listened with her whole heart. And because she has, she is Eve invited back into Eden. But it has not always been so. Sighing with joy, she remembers the day the gates swung back open….

A teacher on summer holiday, a disciple of truth corroborated by science, she is a skeptic. Therefore, she is stunned into submission when the soil begins to sing to her. She kneels. For her, this appropriate act is awkward, but what else can she do? So she does this appropriately awkward thing in the very center of the ancient cathedral and presses her palms against the stony coolness. Eyes closed she concentrates. Yes! The stones are singing too. Stone and soil in eerie harmony. She is both enchanted and embarrassed.

Aloud, she says to camouflage her conflict, “The dirt between these stones is older than my country…” A ridiculous statement if ever one was uttered. She cannot believe she has given it voice and is grateful no one except the giggling, ginger-haired toddler also patting the stones, could have heard her above the touristy din. She has no words. She, who must question all, abandons the need in an instant. Isolated in awe she begins to hum the song as around her gothic columns transcend into ancient oaks, a stone forest soaring against a stained-glass sky. Smiling, she rises, dusts the singling soil from her hands and exits Chartres Cathedral still humming its haunting melody. The Awakening has begun. She is a suddenly a Seeker of a different science.

The song of soil and stone is always with her now, rising into acute awareness whenever she enters wild or sacred spaces. She remembers the deep alto of Kilauea’s ashy stones as she piles them in of honor of Pele. Its warmth and welcome in stark in contrast to Fuji’s staccato soprano, warning her to tuck NOT even a single, mud-covered fragment into her greedy pockets. Somehow, Fuji knows she has collected many stone voices, especially if they are heart-shaped. Fuji declines collection. She abides. It is enough to have heard. In the symphony of memory, their volcanic voices intermingle with watery ones. She hears Bermuda’s pale pink sand, a honeyed tenor, almost feminine, tempting. Oh, how many times has she been tempted by that siren call and returned to the water’s edge. She hears the rumbling bass of Hawaii’s black sand and the elusive contralto of its green, obsidian and olivine embraced by the sea. She hears the misty melody of Montsegur, the hollow bellow of Stomboli, the ancient sigh of Aetna, and the terrible thunder of the Tetons. She is blessed.