Grandpa could read the skies: a moon dog at dusk that meant rain was coming, or high clouds that meant he could cut hay. I watched him once touch newly plowed dirt to his tongue and then spit it out. When I asked him why he’d done that he told me that he could taste things in the dirt: minerals and moisture and richness for planting. I nodded and tasted the dirt myself when he wasn’t looking.
He was right.
I tasted iron, like when your mouth bleeds. I tasted what it smells like before it rains. The dirt tasted like earth and rain and sunshine and life. It tasted rich and gritty and ready. Grandpa nodded at me. He’d caught me after all. I spit the dirt out, smiled, and turned with him to the tractor. We both climbed aboard and circled the field again once, twice, turning the dry dirt over. Behind the plow the soil went from dry, crusty taupe to pillows of dark chocolate brown--ready for planting.
It was finally spring.