That earthy, peaty smell like so many earthworms’ private fantasies richened the air that morning. The world was keeping secrets, and Jørgen was set on discovery. He sharpened his tools, mended his bag, and looked up the hill. The sun was high by now. He groaned.
“I’ve wasted the day. Tomorow, I’ll go,” he said.
Tomorrow came with a sweet perfume where bees grew fat and drunk on their own honey. The world was ripe for pleasure, and Jørgen was intoxicated with its mirth. He filled his waterskin, washed his beard, and look up the hill. The air was growing sticky and hot. He wiped his brow.
“My lungs won’t make it,” he said. “Another day.”
The sun rises, then the moon. Tall grass, dry grass, snow. Jørgen stands at the bottom of the hill each day, staring up at the journey he could take if his feet would climb.