Not yet quite awake, I got out of bed at first light and made my way cautiously down the stairs, crossed the room, and opened the door to the greenhouse.
Once I had climbed the short wooden staircase, my feet hit the top layer of the three feet of smooth stones meant to collect and store the radiant heat from the sun. They clicked as they shifted slightly under the weight of my feet.
Rhythmically they click-clacked as I moved slowly in the new dawn’s dim light toward the tables that held the six-packs of seedlings I’d started weeks ago: snowball marigolds, basil, baby’s breath, peppers, tomatoes…delphinium, squashes, radicchio…
As the sun glazed the top, then broke out over Menefee Mountain and streamed through the glass, a wondrous sight lit before me.
Six or seven long, dark pink stems covered in fuzzy bristles leaned away from the sunny glass toward me. The tallest was perhaps two feet high; each supported a single bowl of a flower, open and wide with a small dark button in the center. Their green flesh was like that of an aspen leaf, papery, yet clear and fresh and smooth.
Dumbstruck, I remember thinking, “I’m sure I never planted any seeds like these...”
They began to sway in slow motion, and then began to bob and nod and weave in complex figure- eights…and as they danced they spoke. Their voices were like glassy chimes, first single bright notes at a time that began to blend into chords of conversation…a minor here, a major there.
I watched and listened closely, a smile working its way through my body all the way from my toes.
But no matter how carefully I listened… I couldn’t tell what they said.