“Do you want to get away to the garden for a bit?“
It’s a kind question. An offer. The answer is yes (always, always, always yes.) I extract myself from limbs, ceding my space as headrest, blanket, octopus, to him.
I take the dog, who is missing his ‘brother,’ and am ‘caught’ by the dog catcher for not having him on leash before he attempts to elevate his lead butt into the back of the car. I assure her I have the leash and am simply getting him in the car. She is nonplussed. I don’t actually care.
There’s one other gardener when we arrive. Parked where I park. I park by a different gate.
I hear a drill. A hammer. I gather my remembered things, check my mask, and I see him. His plots are across from one of mine, between my two. He’s constructing a gate.
When it’s time to switch plots and we plod by, I comment on the rabbits. “It’s just survival” he says. I nod, agreeing that everything has a stomach. He chortles.
And we’re done. Back to our attempted solitude, shared.
It begins to rain. I haven’t remembered the right tool to cut the Brussels’ trunks. I go about removing sad leaves and harvesting what’s left. The rain increases. Tucked in a ball, low and small, the Brussels sprouts’ canopy shelters me mostly from the angled drops. I continue.
A whine. A soft, slow not-whimper. I look over. My dog is melting. Trying not to, attempted stoicism, but failure.
I pack up, trek my refuse to the compost bin, and load my grateful pooch into the back, with a leash, but with a running start.