If you were to dive beneath the mountain, beneath the trees, tall and green and gold and solid as stalagmites, deep beneath the rushing rivers and the freezing wind, you might find the fields and the secret growing things in the place where spring lives.

You reach the entrance to the caves and pause. This is not some gaping hole, the open jaws of some crawling creature ready to snap it’s maw shut. This tunnel into the depths of the world is full of light, and the light is pleasant, and the air cool and inviting. You enter the tunnel and the light. Green and blue and red lanterns light the tunnels and cast soft shadows on the rocks and crystals that glitter in the walls, under the mountain where spring lives.

You walk down gently sloping tunnels, cold and well lit, almost like you are walking down a pleasant street on a crisp and starry night. You follow your guide, always just ahead, always rounding the next corner and dropping petal and leaves as she walks. The lanterns above you flicker like globes and spinning stars, and you breathe deeply the scent of earth and rock and light. And you keep walking down and down and down into the cavern where spring lives.

The tunnel branches, and you keep walking. It branches again, and you keep walking. The tunnels ramble through the earth like they were dug by some rabbit. Some giant, old, black rabbit, burrowing and digging a den for its young to keep them hidden and safe under cover of earth. Soon the tunnel forks and splinters off and breaks away in all directions, like so many burrows and dens converging and joining, and if you are not careful, you could get very lost down here, deep in the earth. But you have a clever guide, and you will reach the end of the path, and find the place where spring lives.

And then you find the Fields. Your guide stands with open arms in the Unseen fields, the gardens, the hidden forests deep under the mountain, and welcomes you to her temple. The fields grow in caves, large caves with vaulted ceilings like cathedrals. Caves long and low that run like chapels through the earth. Caves that spiral down and down in the mountain, and are all filled with plants like stained glass windows. And light and wind. The sound of rustling leaves and growing things fill the silence as prayers whispered in stone halls, in the cave where spring lives.

Spring stands in her home and welcomes you in. Spring is a woman, and she lives in that basilica made of green and light and life. Wherever she goes, that earthy and bright and watery scent follows in her wake. And flowers bloom in her footsteps. Her hands are mossy, her elbows barky. Her eyes are amber, and her hair a tangle of roses, and her feet are black with earth from treading this place where spring lives.

Lettuce, tomatoes, herbs, beans, all bloom and grow under soft lights like little, flickering candles. The plants grow in lines. The lines and lines and lines of plants stretch for miles through the earth like pews. The fans turn, and the leaves rustle under soft breezes. The fruit trees blossom under ceilings too high to see but for the lights strung like ancient chandeliers under arches of stone. Berries bloom and herbs grow into fragrant bouquets of rosemary and thyme and basil. Spring shows you room after room of green and light and wind, all hidden deep under the earth where spring lives.

But it is the people who catch your eyes and ears most. These bright-eyed creatures, these watchful and ready beings clothed in white peek out at you from behind stalks and leaves. From behind a veil of grapevines, they snicker. They carry baskets full of food. They tend row upon row upon row of cabbages like giant, heavy flowers. And they carry with them something bright that you cannot see, and you wonder what it is. And some tend the flower gardens because they love beautiful things for their own sake. Roses. Lilacs. Carnations. Sunflowers. All growing in the place where spring lives.

And they laugh with spring. And they sing with her. And they fill with life the hidden garden where spring lives.

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