“Then there are those who plant. They endure storms and all the vicissitudes of the seasons, and they rarely rest.” Paul Coelho

Sitting at my makeshift desk in the dining room, I learn that the shelter-in-place order for Austin is a sure thing. I immediately remember the tomato plants in the back of my minivan.

There are only a few people at the community garden when I arrive. We uncharacteristically ignore each other, mindful of our uncertain covid-19 status.

I carry the tray of tomato plants, carrot seed packages tucked between the containers, along freshly wood-chipped paths separating the plots. The sun feels like summer, but the showy neon green of spring is everywhere.

Summer will have its turn soon enough.

My plot needs more work than I remember. It will take several hours rather than the thirty minutes I had planned. On second thought, I am thankful for the project.

I am not predisposed to sheltering-in-place.

In-place sounds impossible. I imagine pre-dawn escapes to the trail to slow my breathing.

My friend Terri says that an earnest gardening effort reflects a certain level of mental stability because of the enormous patience and delayed gratification required.

It’s always more sacrifice than expected at the onset.

She believes that a garden reminds us of life’s relentless forward momentum.

A practice of giving without guarantees.

I think about her words as I pull weeds, pour the orange oil and molasses mixture on fire ant mounds, and harvest the last of my red chard and kale to make room for the tomato plants.

I water the tomatoes carefully. It is stressful to be planted.

Be well world.