I complimented her on her corn (which I had photographed a few entries back); she complained about the size of the ears. I lamented my lack of fruit on my pepper plants; she said that growing peppers was so frustrating that she had given it up. We both agreed that the harvest this year has not been up to regular standards.
Then we went about our regular business. When I brought over a wheelbarrow to collect weeds, she asked if she could add hers to the pile. When she finished watering her plot, I took the hose from her to water mine. She emptied all the weeds into the compost and I coiled the hose.
I like to think of these shared efforts as small gestures toward community. It's something I have experienced in past seasons, though this year has fallen short. I hope that the upcoming barbecue (a week from today). the next two work days, and a lighter evening schedule this fall bring more opportunities for face time with fellow gardeners.