|Spring scented the air very early this year. With only a month or less of consistent, icy cold in the air already warmth had begun to stir the earth and break Winter’s grip. Night’s chill was broken by a day warm enough to cause sweat upon the skin, and green shoots were already breaking the surface next to my house. Yet farther beneath the surface, below even the ground water sitting cold and darkly, something had begun to stir. Something that had not stirred for centuries, not since the last time the sun had flared and the climate warmed in such a unique way. Wait, for while you think I write of some imaginary thing or attempt to cloud your perceptions with bluster and fluff, know I do not mean a creature or something of a fantastic ilk. Rather, a plant long dormant, now crawling up through the water and rock, upwards and up- stretching, yawning, reaching for the surface and the sun above to finally pierce the dirt and join the other green shoots.
The shoots of this plant joined the grass, looking like the young, juicy green tips of an aloe plant- hundreds of little shoots coming up along the side of my house and into my yard. At first I thought it was some sort of new weed, but then I began to notice just how many of them their were. I had never seen any of this variety of plant in my yard, and yet now here they were- almost as common as dandelions.
Soaking up the warmth of the sun, it drew life from the hot air. The green shoots grew, snaking along our yard to loosely drape about in the most unusual way. Never in my life had I seen a plan that just lay limply along the ground- neither a creeping plant nor a vine in appearance, just laying upon the ground. Those near the house were more normal, crawling up along it like a vine in a way, yet it did not look like a vine in the typical sense. Life and warmth pulsed through it, given by the sun. Until the day it suddenly grew chill again. Not bitter cold, but it was enough.
The shoots grew faster than I had ever seen while desperately seeking the warmth it had lost; in only a day reaching the roof of my home. I tried to pull at one, but it was too tough to touch with my hand. Frustrated, I walked into my home, put on my gloves, and returned with sheers. I took a 'vine' and cut at it.
Deep beneath the surface the cut was felt, and above the green artery bled watery sap. I say bled for surely that could be the only word for it- it did not simply leak it, for I was sprayed by it, and it continued to gurgle forth the watery liquid. Then I heard the sound: a loud moaning and groaning as though the plant was crying out in a slow, deep agony at the wound I had given it.
It was not the plant, but the material of my home and the rocks beneath it. Now all that remains is a hole in the earth and shattered wood.
And that, my dear insurance representative, is exactly what happened.