Hey Dave,

this piece made me think of dirt. Soil. Our soil is often red hereabouts. Not, I hazard, from the rhyolite that makes up the hills, but from iron remaindered from long vanished dolomite, as was suggested by our reading on the formation of drusy quartz. The sciences are always new to me and I don’t fear being speculative, or wrong . Perhaps the seas have dried twice, first leaving behind the limestone, then the limestone “evaporated” leaving behind the iron. The lead in the great deposits near Potosi was abandoned by the mountains of the Franciscan orogeny which could hold on to it only so long before letting go into air and water. Maybe the chewing sky spit the lead out like seeds which tumbled to busy atolls building in the sea.

Perhaps some soils outlast the hills, as hills feed themselves to the air. We have mild uplift here, so as the sky grows thirsty, hills are replenished, like a mother spoon feeding a child. Certainly though the mantle of soil on a hill drapes over a changing physiognomy, always much older than each newly arranged face pressing into it.

What the sky does not want the soil will use as bones and flesh. Do soils respire creatures and leaves? That blown leaf, causing you to brake, is that pulled along by the rush of soil breathing in.

I wouldn’t want to consider, though, that our rhyolite didn’t have a life. A tenth the age of the universe, it is fleeting under the tarrying boulders who cannot match its rate of waste.

Perhaps in some dolomite there is a breathing in as it’s metals oxidize. A better image for limestone might be breaths of taphony and exhalations of hard water. I never really learned the carbon cycle.