SOIL: Stringed Soil By Jane Malin

Week 2 Word: SOIL
Word Count 496
Stringed Soil
Jane Malin

The gardener prepared the soil. Metal rectangles stood like heads atop black bones with three-toed feet confidently hugging the ground. A blanket of silence was receding like snow as he sowed the seeds, placing each on its own rectangle.
As if by some invitation, plants appeared as the silence dissipated. The plants vibrated with energy. They chatted. Anticipation swelled. Large plants came through back doors. They commanded the landscape stretching emerald shoots in all directions. The gardener pruned the encroachers, coaxing them to dig their roots deep, like anchors for the whole garden. Needle-like mid-tones of olive and avocado began to push through in seemingly random spots. Delicate drops of apple green and ivory dotted the scene – lace in the woods on a spring day. This was pure freedom. The laughing breezes intensified. It was impossible to harness the excitement. Everyone was together again for another season of unpredictable beauty.
The artist surveyed the scene. He moved individuals; he transplanted sections. He trusted luscious groupings would make exquisite harmonies. His ears plainly saw the colors. Between his fingers, he twisted the slender, white tool that would deliver his instructions. The anticipation was palpable.
Clink! Clink! The gardener was ready. He raised his hands, and the chaos stilled. As if by magic, he called for the lush greens. They sounded like a safe embrace. He added soft blues, mellow and entangled. They made little difference on their own, but without them the panorama seemed boring. Together the blues and lavenders, violets and blackberries, lilacs and purples created complex harmonies. The gardener mixed in the lusty pinks and passionate magentas. Their songs danced in front, commanding attention.
The gardener cued the divas. High above everyone, dancing on the thinnest piccolo legs, their shimmering whites and golds stole the show. Their individual petals were iridescent arpeggios in the sun. Everyone sent forth beauty. As each one intoned his color, the spell intensified. Passersby were captured. Interlopers floated through the setting on stained-glass wings, stopping to kiss carefully selected colors like a French horn’s countermelody.
The gardener swayed back and forth, delighted and overcome with what his ears were seeing. As if to command nature, he called out to the players… “More Greens,”… Stay together, Blues.” It was magnificent.
Then, covertly, each color began to retreat. The players were finished. The greens laid down their huge instruments on the soil. Diva legs cracked and twisted. Bright colors softened to tans and browns and mustards. White and gold gowns were put back into cases and were carried away. Rain came like tears at the end of the season.
The conductor tidied up the soil, picking up debris. He collected the white pages, cataloging them in folders and placing them in the grey, metal drawers for next season. All that remained were the black bones of the music stands. The conductor placed his white baton on the podium just as the first flakes of snow fell outside the concert hall. (495)