I intended to go left but my body moved itself to the right, onto the grass. I don’t think my brain had any say in this, as is often the case. First my knees went hard against the ground. Coming in second were both palms of my hands; sending a shock through the wrists, elbows and finally shoulders. The race was impressively concluded by my nose. It smacked the grass hard and left the green slathered in red. Given due time, it could oxidize into its own bronze medal.
I dug two fingers into the soil and closed my eyes. The smell of minerals and silica overwhelmed my senses. I stayed in this position, fingers in the earth, for about five minutes. Opening my eyes again I saw nothing but a green blur, it was not at all as I expected. I had not yet started taking root, it proved more difficult than simply giving in. I aborted my attempt and went back to the cabin.
The next day I made a second endeavour. After making a slight diagonal rotation from my original position, I placed my fingers into the soil again. This time digging both thumbs in as well. The ground was hard and packed with debris. Snaking the digits deeper, I cut myself under the nail of my left thumb on a sharp piece of flint. The grass - called every bad name I ever learned in rapid succession - had to bear the brunt of my frustration over the current situation. As I solemnly resigned, I was no closer to my intended goal.
On day three I asked a friend to come along with me. She carried the shovel, I had to concentrate on the task ahead. We didn’t speak on our journey. There was no use for that. I had already laid out the plan in detail the night before. We found my blood, bronzed impressively, in a somewhat uncertain circular shape. I showed her the fruitless holes my fingers had dug the days prior. A moment of silence followed in which, presumably both of us, scrutinized the previous attempts for their flaws.
I went back into position. Two thumbs up from my friend signalled she was ready to dig. Suddenly, by divine inspiration, I realized it would be much easier if she simply hit me on the head with the blade of the shovel. I relayed this information and she did so without hesitation.
When I awoke, I felt my legs the great branches of a cherry blossom. My body its massive trunk. My arms and fingers rooted far into the soil. Deeper than I could have ever wished for. My neck forced into a ninety degree angle to the dirt. Leaving my head as nothing more than an inconvenience. My friend was nowhere to be seen. Her job was done.