I’m currently reading Closing the Food Gap and it’s lighting new fires while dousing others. I keep interrupting my husband’s quiet to read aloud an outrageous statistic here or a shocking history there. Education is not always comfortable.

Twice so far, it’s mentioned that in community garden the most important word is community. I’ve stewed on this a bit. I didn’t join a community garden this round for the community. I joined for the soil to soothe my soul.

When I’d joined in 2012 (same community garden, different plots), I had joined for both the community and the garden. I’d been chastised, looked down upon, and otherwise made to feel wholly unwelcome and less-than during that experience with the community part of the community garden.

So this time, I signed up hoping to garden in peace, quiet, and solitude.

I’ve met more neighboring gardeners in the last six weeks than the entire year I was here last time. Each has been friendly, kind, and generally also hoping to part ways shortly for their own peace and solitude.

Yesterday, I spotted this “Hi” left on the far side of the path between my garden and a neighbor’s I’ve yet to meet. It is one of the main paths in and out of the walled garden. A butterfly had alit beside it.

Yes. I hear you. Community gardening, indeed. (I added an ! before heading home for the day, lacking sufficient supplies for a suitable reply.)

I think he remembered.

It’s been ages since he’s been. Five years, perhaps? Half his life.

He saw my grubby shoes go by the door.

Wag.

I put on sunscreen.

Dance.

I grabbed my keys.

Whine. Whine.

I picked up the leash.

Loaded in the car, he quieted. Tongue lolling. Bracing corners. Toppling.

Just before the driveway to the parking lot.

Whinewhinewhinewhine.

Pranceprance.

I know, buddy, me, too.

Any guesses on this volunteer?