In the depth of winter, I crunch through dirty snow on the way to work and wince at the bleeding cracks in my knuckles. I use “deliverables” to refer to pieces of paper instead of boxes of tomatoes. I catch myself describing other people as “resources”. I paint my bathroom and stream Netflix and nurse single malts and peruse seed manuals.
Once a week or so, I set all of that aside and visit the dormant garden. I curse and yank and bang on the frozen lock until it opens. I deposit a few scraps in the compost bin (my ambitions to set up winter composting were thwarted by the frigid weeks of December) and walk around the empty beds, following the tracks of rabbits and squirrels in the snow.
I am not melancholy, nor do I pine for summer: to everything its season. I do, however, enjoy visiting the garden in winter and performing little tasks that maintain my connection to this plot of land. I pick up trash and gather up pots that have been blown around. I inspect the fruit trees. I stand on the small porch and think about projects for next year. Then I lock everything up and return home.