I have made a garden with a fountain and a solar pump and tubs with seeds – useful things like chives and oregano and sage. But I left one pot empty for the players.
Max discovers this pot of smooth, soothing soil, seemingly empty, and aching to be disturbed. When he stares down at the square, he dribbles softly, a habit from infancy when a new discovery would override the signal to swallow, which, compared to a pot of good dirt is hardly important.
He begins his work immediately.
It is winter, but it is not cold. Indeed, the winter garden is inattentive, already putting out tiny leaves, believing spring is near although it is not. The earth is soft and obedient.
Max works silently, tasting the earth with his hands, sifting and moving it to where it should be. He moves a pinch to the left and stares down into the planet. Overhead the galahs slide from one quarrel to another, but he is not interested, the sound of the dirt moving and shifting, the texture of particles is too deafening.
He listens to the depth, handles the value, his baby hands clutch and pinch and hover over an overwhelming landscape caught within a pot and shrieking possibilities. He does not want to leave the pot.
There is a bark chip nearby that is annoying. He picks it up and throws it hard into the pot. He looks across at his young mother who is watching him, thinking he might find some information about the bark. His mother is watching him closely and he receives this information, that he has both of her eyes on him, and so he takes flight, replenished, and continues on, tending his tiny potted acre. He makes a decision and flings the bark chip away.