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Just Listen

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She likes a lot of things about plants.

She likes to take the gloves off to let the soil stain her fingers. In the office, Joel demands that she keep them on for the sake of his sterile environment, but during the planting season, when he's out for lunch, she takes them off again. Her fingers are just the right width to give the seeds a cradle in the loose loam and sand.

She likes the reds, greens, the butterscotch yellows and topaz blues. The leaves and flowers are a lot like Joel's patients—she watches them, feels their texture, smells them, and tries to find out what they need from her. And sometimes they talk to her, silently, with just a hint of spirit whisper. No one else hears them that the way she does—her mother tells her she's forest-eared. She thinks she just pay more attention.

She likes how the plants hear. They hear everything, from the sun and wind and rain to the seasons, cycles and rhythms of the land.

That's what she likes best about taking care of them—sometimes, if she's very quiet and patient, she can hear, too. She's learning to listen better.