Specks of dirt stuck sprayed my face, getting caught in the slick sweat from the hot sun.
I stabbed my shovel into the hardened soil until I reached the soft layers just beneath.
Next to me lays the last of the plants I have yet to put into the ground.
Carefully, once I've dug the final hole, I grasp the plant and set it's tangled clump of roots in, sweeping the excess dirt back in the spot until it was firmly packed down.
Exhaustion overwhelmed me and my back hit the ground behind me.
I smiled softly at the blue sky filled with swirling, white clouds before my eyes closed to block out the still shining light from the sun.
Grass tickled the back of my neck, holding my head like a softly woven, slightly scratchy pillow.
It was then, that moment of peace that held my heavily breathing body, that I heard Her.
She murmured softly in my mind, so soft in fact that at first I thought she hadn't spoken at all.
But then her voice grew louder.
I am here.
Tiny thumps pounded in my chest to her echoing words and yet there was no fear.
She didn't ask me not to be afraid, she didn't need to.
Her words washed through my head in rippling waves of calm.
Hear me, child.
Unlike the many who've ignored my pleas.
My eyes fluttered open.
"Why?" I whispered to myself, riddled with confusion. "How can I find you?"
No response came but like a puppet on a string, I found myself slowly sitting up and pulling the gloves off my hands.
I was on my knees again, something pulling me towards the softly turned layers of Earth before me.
Still, even in the calm, hesitance held back my hand.
Even louder now, her voice was filled with insistence in her repetition.
So outwards I stretched my hand, trembling slightly.
Dirt rolled between my fingers as I pressed my hand into the ground.
I closed my eyes and reached out to the Earth.
She reached back as I stretched further to reach her.
Her words had faded dully, leaving the pounding anticipation of the search behind in the silence.
A shiver shook my spine when I found her and she latched onto me desperately.
Her voice no longer calm but rather a despairing scream of pain.
Barely scratching the surface, I felt her heartbreak, the pain of giving all you have for nothing in return but even more so I felt her burning anger, thirsting for revenge.
But slowly, beginning right at the tips of my fingers as she asked permission to enter, I let her anguish seep into my veins.
At first it all but froze my blood, the horror of her howling agony as it traced its way up my arms and legs.
Baby blue vines filled with shards of ice snaked through my body, made me gasp as I stared in awe at my glowing hands.
Through the vividly bright snakes that crawled up my skin, I saw the oceans.
Waters teeming with oil, the carcasses of animals that couldn't escape the waste.
Dying reefs and once blue waters stained with blood swam in my veins all the while I felt torment of each and every one.
Even worse was Her chilling despair as she suffered their sufferings while she could do nothing.
Nothing, but sit by and hope their pain would end.
But that spreading chill soon turned to searing fire that enveloped my soul and my vision burned.
Brimming tears spilled down my cheeks from the blistering pain that glowed like lava.
All that came before seemed immeasurable against this deep set fury, this white hot ire fueled by outrage that had been messily stitched together over thousands of years.
It was the crying of every tree chopped to the ground,
the tears of melting glaciers
and the hacking coughs of every living thing choked by ash and fire in the smoldering rain forests that had surely begun to disappear.
Just as it became nearly unbearable to feel even a second more, the fire faded to empty.
Nothing entered my blood, for a second I believed it had stopped.
Until I heard her voice again in the tenebrous void that followed.
She whispered, words echoing inside my head.
Such simple words and yet they weren't even needed.
Her eons of torture had dimmed and yet I still felt an ardent wrath deep in my bones.
This however was my own.
Before the darkness behind my closed eyes, she appeared in sloping hills of my mind and Mother Earth gave a somber, tired smile dotted with flowers.
Her mouth never opened and yet her voice echoed all around in rumbling hills, the rushing streams and the rustling winds that tickled the trees.
Take my anger, my child.
Take my sorrows and my strength.
Part of me desperately sought to ask why.
What could I possibly do?
But no such words fell from my lips.
Instead, I felt my head fall and rise and her swirling form disappeared behind my eyes.
My eyes snapped open and an audible gasp escaped me as I felt the cold again.
Cool black streams crossed my arms in spiderwebs, embedding themselves in the very essence of my soul.
This wasn't the tears of her anguish or her rage fueled fires.
The raw powers of the Earth held only one emotion.
A single desire.
Her commanding words repeated over and over in my head.
The silky rivulets of ink found home in the pooling, empty voids of my irises.
She called for human blood.
She screamed her pained dissent.
A tiny, wrath filled grin crept it's way onto my lips.
Together, the ground beneath us shook and our shrieking power called for revenge.