On New Year’s Eve 2013, I sent out an email to many of you called The Pumpkin of Enlightenment (see below). After writing it, I decided it was high time I finally took up my annual New Year’s Resolution to write more and to make sure I do I have set the challenge to post “pumpkins” at least once a fortnight (that’s every two weeks for my American friends!).
I have thought long and hard about the name of the blog having fun with many “p-words” loving the alliteration with pumpkin…considering Pumpkin Ponderings, Prodigious, Pensive or Poignant Pumpkin, even just Pumpkin (you know like Apple – I’m thinking big) but I’ve settled on Pumpkin Potential imagining “potential” in is adjective and noun forms to work best for me and my purpose.
having or showing the capacity to develop into something in the future
latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness
If you are interested in playing with me and my pumpkins or at the least checking to see if I can produce pumpkins which you might want to keep for yourself or just carve or can as you like, then please enter your email in the form on the left of this screen and press Subscribe ensure you know there has been another piece available for your perusal.
The Pumpkin of Enlightenment
It started with a pumpkin. I know kinda weird considering all the other far more dramatic scenes that have been playing out just beyond my kitchen window…the top of the silver birch snapped fifty feet up, creaking and dangling in the after storm breeze, the giant fish chimenea finally blown over and smashed on the brick stonework path into pieces so small you can’t differentiate from autumn ashes we roasted marshmallows over within it and the terracotta that used to form the shape of our free standing fireplace, the pools of puddles which rise and fall each day like tides with yet another rainstorm which seems to be inundated England this December.
No, instead it was the bright orange pumpkin, an extra to be carved at Halloween in case we needed spare, which caught my eye and raised this thought. But before that it made me laugh. Out loud not just to myself but in a little burst of amusement. It totally cracked me up sitting there on the corner of our new raised brick flower bed brandishing its roundness and orangeness with such audacity and pride so pleased to have survived not just Halloween but a possible plunge into the need to make “real” pumpkin pie from scratch for Thanksgiving. Some how this pumpkin has no blemishes or dents or interest in caving in. It is sitting there by the pruned bay trees, cut back purple verbena and black eyed susans all now mostly yellowed and browned from the onslaught of cold, wet weather and it just seems to be enjoying itself and entertaining me. It looks like such an anachronism – one of my favourite things to spot once I discovered in Seventh Grade Social Studies class that the telephone wire cutting through the shot of the Frontiers Homestead was just that “a thing belonging to a period other than that in which it exists”. I used to love looking for them in old textbooks thereafter a sort of Where’s Wally/Waldo for one. I know not your typical pasttime for a kid but fun just the same and even shared with Jennifer who has as quirky a sense a humour as I do and who still laughs with me at the cucumber we once saw on the grocery store floor in the cereal aisle. It wasn’t so much out of time but so out of place and looking like it was a little embarrassed to be caught prone and totally exposed by itself under the Acme’s flourscent lights next to the cornflakes and Lucky Charms.
At any rate, the pumpkin which I absentmindedly stuck out there as I cleared up for a Christmas gathering moving it from the front foyer where it had sat cooly retaining its stature and replaced it with some of my favourite Christmas kitsch, keeps catching my eye and making me pause. It’s reminding me every day how fun and funny it is to see something different, out of character, something unexpected and beyond the norm. It may be drenched and shivering a bit in the wind and rain, but it stands out to me as something to look at and celebrate. Every day I have to do something which I find beyond the norm which this year has bothered me a bit. I have spent 2013 trying to get everything “back to normal” and the one daily hiccup is the tamoxifen I have to take to hold my cancer at bay. I love and hate it. Love that it is working its magic so that I can stay healthy. Hate that it reminds me every day that I have cancer in my system. The good thing about this pumpkin, however, has been that it has made me decide that a daily reminder of the maybe uncommon can be a time when instead of worrying about my abnormal cells I can doing something else with that thought and energy. I’ve decided every time I pop one of those pills I am going to make it be my stop to give thanks for something. Change my mind on something. Reach out to someone. Feel more. Pray. See the joke. Eat better. Remember someone, pine for them and send them my love from Earth or England to Heaven or around the world. Care more. Be positive. Be responsible. Be irresponsible. Think beyond my to do list. Forgive. Note the acts of every day bravery I am witness to as I see people supporting their family, going to rehab, new schools, exams, new jobs, caring for their loved ones in need, their friends in need, the world in need. Sometimes even just getting out of bed and facing the day and breathing deeply.
So I am sending you a Happy New Year’s wish for good health and happiness to your families and friends and an encouragement to look for the pumpkin who will make you laugh and pause and rejoice for what is out of place and for the gift of embracing the little sliver of the different that can so enrich your life.
31 December 2013
PS Just had a chance to check out the travel section from The Sunday Telegraph of 12 January 2014. Feeling very pleased I’m not the only one seeing pumpkins!