“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.
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.
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.