Annie was working on the last plant, doing a fine job. Ignoring the discomfort in her knee, Beulah bent down to the ground and scooped a handful of the black dirt in her hand. It was the richest soil in the Bluegrass, with nothing like it for miles around. South of the county, the soil turned to red clay, but here it was black and fine as coffee grounds. She lifted it to her nose and inhaled the earthy scent. Beulah shut her eyes and breathed again, remembering in an instant her childhood, laughing and running from her brother Ephraim, as he chased her with a frog in his hand.
When Beulah opened her eyes, Annie was watching her, grinning. “I never saw anybody smell dirt,” Annie said.
Beulah laughed again, feeling a deep contentment inside her take hold. She pushed herself up, trying to hide the struggle with her knee from Annie.
“This dirt holds our history. It’s like a time machine for me. I never know what memory will play out when I smell it.”
Annie bent down and scooped a handful and brought it to her nose. “Smells like dirt to me.”
“You don’t have as many memories here as I do. It’ll come to you one day.”
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