Abundance.

Poppyseed prevalence.

Gardeners chatting yesterday more than most days. A yellow mask. A blue. A cherry blossom and Robin covered one. Kombucha. Peppers. Birds and onions.

“Now, about sourdough starters…” she said.

“Would you like some?” I offered.

She pointed to her plot, we coordinated a time (ish.) I fed my starter and put hers into a washed old peanut butter jar.

The dew this morning is so thick it reaches to the sky. I hope she finds the jar with the note still dry enough to read.

“It’s just survival”

“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.

Where? When?

I was intent on sowing the next crop between the leeks. Black-eyed peas, specifically, since I’m not allowed any more tomatoes (which I still don’t like… I know…) and don’t have access to any more peppers (which are either too hot for me, but grow well for me, or I love to eat, but can’t seem to get a good crop off of…) and it’s not *quite* sweet potato time. Well, and I’d have to dig up the leeks to sow those.

But I can’t actually see the ground between these lovelies. I can if I squat. I can if I really try. But then I figure I’d disturb the little bean roots (or are they technically peas?) when I do start pulling leeks. So… the first sowing went between the onion rows instead.

I do have to wait for these to fall over, right? Are we talking days still? Or weeks yet?

And curing them is a day in the shade or the sunshine before a week in the garage? I’ll need to recheck.

It’s… Wednesday, right?

Z.

An egg shell, cracked, and clean, below a nest up high. Beside the chair that holds the woman who holds her cat. Eighteen years gone by.

They’ll be here soon, to help him go, beneath the dancing leaves. The day is bright, crisp cool sun, a day I’d choose myself my day.

The blanket dries, freshly clean, dyed indigo in community. In celebration of a life, holding life, raw hope and love.

… I lost the words. I’ll miss you.

Maybe today.

Last year’s bounty. This year’s pot.

She started Saturday. He joined Sunday. I climbed aboard Tuesday. The youngest has stayed off the train.

Maybe today, I’ll get a call.

Maybe today I’ll find out we have It. I hope we do. I’d like to know. It’s mild for us, so far. Maybe today I’ll learn I can go back to my biggest gardens. Maybe today I’ll be able to tell grandparents they won’t miss two grandbaby birthdays in the same month. Maybe today I can set an appointment to give blood soon. Maybe today I can check on neighborhood needs for others and food bank volunteer spots.

Or maybe I won’t get a call. And I’ll wait till Monday.

And maybe that call won’t be positive.

And we’ll be just where we were after a week of tired coughing wondering and worry.

Fingers crossed.

Failure to keep both gloves dry.

It’s been raining. All day. Yesterday. Days.

No one is at the gardens. In them.

I spray the lock.

I spray the handle.

I wonder: where will it wash to?

All the Lysol. All the alcohol.

The bleach and anti-

“Into the streams,” comes the answer.

From where? From whom?

From here.

A crown of onions, for which I was sent, unearthed.

A cascade of sky water rivulets with.each.thumb.press.

Adding fingers in their chill to the list of aches I feel from the world.

As I return home to the warmth awaiting, kindled long ago, preciously tended with moments stolen and savored as we exhale on.

Not mine.

I’ve been working at a friend’s. She wants a backyard redo. With veggies.

Graph paper and planning. Chats and sketches. Texts back and forth and back and forth. It was time. The first 4 cubic yards of compost delivered.

Thankful, these weeks, for outdoor distanced meditative work. Shoveling. Wheeling barrows of soil food. Over and over.

It’s time to order five more. And plants. Then mulch.

Is the landscape yard still open? Should they be?

The nursery is still open. I can’t gather my self to go.

We may end up, with the best laid plans. With life laid on thick. And come up short on starts.