I recently came across a moving expression of this by E.B. White, in a bit from the Introduction to his wife Katherine's "Onward and Upward in the Garden," found in "Autumn: A Spiritual Biography of the Season," (p.16) . White writes of his wife planting bulbs:
"As the years went by and age overtook her, there was something comical yet touching in her bedraggled appearance on this awesome occasion -- the small, hunched-over figure, her studied absorption in the implausible notion that there would be yet another spring, oblivious to the ending of her own days, which she knew perfectly well was near at hand, sitting there with her detailed chart under those dark skies in the dying October, calmly plotting the resurrection."
Schmidt, Gary D., and Susan M. Felch, eds. 2004. Autumn: a Spiritual Biography of the Season. Woodstock, VT: Skylight Paths Publishing.