It’s common, when talking about things below the surface, to mention icebergs. He prefers to think of trees, whose enormous canopies are mirrored in sprawling root systems, hidden from view by dirt, vegetation, parking lots. They are stubborn and tireless, but also flexible, mutable. They can accommodate, and bend, and redirect themselves. Unlike our pipes, he thinks, our wires, our gas lines, which are fixed and static. This is what a crew in the south end learned. They’d gone down to an existing gas line, set to be rerouted for a new road, and found roots, like thick, frozen serpents, and when they’d attempted to remove them they’d punctured the line, which sent debris both organic and mineral lashing outward, and forced skyward a roaring spume of natural gas.