I cut swaths of lightly frosted herbs, tying them into bundles with colourful string and hang them from rafters. I gather leaves and flowers from stalks and lay them out to dry. I fill baskets and bowls and arms. I close my eyes and breathe in deeply. The smell of lemon, earth and mint fills my lungs and I smile. I never realized just how much I loved it until I let myself take it in. Until I allowed myself to fall into the slowness of it.
When the herbs have been gathered, when the flowers laid out to dry, I go back to the garden. This time I dig my hands into the cool soil, fingers searching for potatoes hidden. I pick through rows of green leaves for ripe tomatoes, popping the small ones in my mouth as I go. The squash leaves have browned and curled up leaving behind their giant and hearty fruits. The onions are lost somewhere in the herbs. Soon it will be time to put the garden to rest. I'll cut back some and pull out others. I'll give most of it to the chickens. The garden will be covered in a thick layer of straw and will be left till spring.
The work isn't done yet, but I'm excited to plant again in six months time. I'm planning out what I'll start from seed and where I'll plant it. Expanding the herbs into the orchard, filling large swaths with flowers and food. In the middle of the winter, when we're blanketed in deep snow and the wood stove is chugging along filled with fire I only need to close my eyes and I'm there. I'm standing in an abundant garden with the deep smells of lemon, earth and mint.