Count Your Pumpkins

     Work determines the pulse of each day as the earth sheds her bounty and prepares for winter’s slumber. Everywhere purpose is bent toward the harvest laid out ready at hand. Dill and parsley nod their heads as they wait to dry. Tomatoes fall ripe from vines and apples rain down on the unsuspected. Red foxes leave their burrows in the middle of the day to hunt the field mice left suddenly naked in combine bared fields. Bales stack higher and silos begin to fill and then swell.

     The first week of October has shown the promising colours of a gentle autumn. The sky is topped in blue. Cascading down, it breaks upon the fields in a misty haze. The hours of light are rationed now and just past a late supper the day yawns and begins to make way for the night. Misty tendrils wind through the woodlots and spread across the acres. With the fading light fog will lie heavy in beds of corn and beans, curling down to first puddle and then overflow the ditches that line the side of the road. The haze never quite leaves the soil now. In the morning the cloudless heavens find the patio drenched as if by a heavy rain. Even as the sun reaches its zenith the grass swims in the coalesced drops of the Nyx’s dew.

     Patches of mushrooms crop up overnight. The damp grassy ceiling is a clarion call to the mother plant deep in the soil and she sends her children out to play. The little fungi soldiers, so full of self-importance strut up and down the lawn. Caps of white, gold and brown shade their little chubby torsos. They gather in groups around the stumps of old trees to discuss military drills and dress uniforms. Solitary giants with caps the size of dinner plates keep to themselves out of snobbery perhaps or just shyness.

     The poisonous berries of the poke are a beautiful deadly shade of blackened purple, the skin taut over the bulging pulp. The blossoms of the crawling nightshade have given birth to scarlet kisses that demurely bob beneath green leaves inviting the unwary with a mask of innocence.

     Sacrificial pumpkins laze in the garden. If they knew what fate awaited them on All Hallows Eve would they break the vines that bind them and roll off down the lane? Great golden orbs swollen with sun and seeds would roll and bounce down the road, jostling against each other in the dark. The more cautious would hush those who, giggling, are caught up in the adventure of escape and have forgotten their danger. Perhaps somewhere there is a promised land for squash. Where all squash (pumpkins, butternut, spaghetti etc) are equal. There, they and their children live out their lives in secret squash groves never to worry about the knife, the spoon or the candle again.

     The man who has conquered his world sees himself as the guardian of the land and her bounty. According to his philosophy, it is through his hard work and cultivation that mother earth reaches her full potential. What a crushing blow, to his close held pride, to find such a secret place. Untouched by human hands, showing no mark of spade or shovel but flourishing just the same. His eyes would find not magic but an aberration to till under lest it act upon his order and control.

     The man who has wooed his world sees himself as a partner to the land that blesses him with her bounty. The heart of such a man would not be burdened but bolstered by the knowledge that nature has its own way with mysteries still to discover. He would keep the secret and guard it well giving nature its due as an equal member in his partnership. He and the land will grow together married in the years and the seasons.

     The earth is full of mysteries and secret places. There is a hidden world, a universe really, that measures its span out in increments unknown to most of those at the top of the food chain. Perhaps one should count their pumpkins. Just in case.




14 thoughts on “Count Your Pumpkins

  1. "Sacrificial pumpkins laze in the garden. If they knew what fate awaited them on All Hallows Eve would they break the vines that bind them and roll off down the lane?" so true! SO TRUE! (i hadn\’t thought of it like that.)beautiful last lines.p


  2. Wow—incredible writing….I love the art of the "essay" — one of my own favorite genre\’s of writing. Beautiful, full of images both concrete and imaginative. I\’m glad I came over here to read. On another note–I see you watched The Station Agent–wasn\’t that quirky!?…loved it. Again, nice nice piece of writing. Lorna, have you been by my website to see the guest artists yet? I\’ve reason to ask.


  3. hey, thanks for coming by & leaving a comment. yup, it\’s really pretty arrogant of us to assume the earth would fall apart without us. probably quite the opposite.your post brings to mind the old myths (ovid refers to them, among others) about the golden age, when the earth provided all that was necessary to sustain us, and there was no need to work or to fight with each other, since everyone had what he/she needed.slainte,m


  4. What a feast of images you spread out on your blog table today….just scrumptious! And thanks so much for the idea of adding almond flakes and flavoring to the rice krispy squares!! Can\’t wait to make another batch.


  5. Thanks for the encouraging words! Beautiful writing, as always.That\’s it. I officially declare it Halloween season. I\’m putting the decorations up tonight. If people want to see the house, they\’ll have to walk past the Jack O\’ Lanterns, cobwebs and skeletons (yes… they are in my closet).


  6. hey hey, hope youre well :-D. The car thing, my interpretation was a bit glib to say the least but suffice to say he payed for the car, and the arguments are on going even a year afretwards, despite the fact said automobile has been disposed of a while ago. I can understand why the man feels cheated. And all really for 200 british pounds…. Craig xx


  7. @PatresaI tend to attribute human characteristics to most of the matter that makes up my surroundings…if I was a pumpkin I\’d definitely be heading for the hills come October but there they lie in my garden soaking up the sun …poor little unsuspecting orange sacrificial virgins. Oh well, better the knife than the chill of first frost, at least that\’s what I tell myself. ;p@KathrynThe Station Agent is one of my favourite movies. There is so much happening and the characters are so complex yet simply drawn that I find something new each time I watch it. I did read one story by a guest writer on your spaces site. I believe it was just before your brother came to visit. I only have dial up out here in the sticks (lol) so I don\’t get around as much as I would like to. I do plan on stopping by to spend some more time browsing very soon.@Markus "Those things that nature denied to human sight, she revealed to the eyes of the soul."Slainte mhoiz@ToadToad so nice of you to dig yourself out from under all that snow to come for a visit. Would you like a cup of hot chocolate? Come warm your little toady flippers before you head back to the North Pole. =P@MelissaIf they\’re rolling and it\’s not the wind I think they might.;)@RuthnpI\’m waiting for this weekend to make another batch myself. The kids are all away so I\’ll actually have a good chance of snagging my fair share.@BobThe days are getting shorter so I\’m all for getting out the scary stuff and keep the sidhe away. Unfortunately at my house the cobwebs and creepy crawlies are much too lifelike…to create that "sinister" atmosphere, I simply have to stop sweeping them away on a daily basis. You should post a picture of your "scary" abode. I\’d love to see what frightens a soul so brave he\’ll leave all he knows behind to start a new life sans lifelines. ;)@NanThanks@CraigI don\’t know…if a year has passed he might as well just give up on that 200 pounds. Though somehow I don\’t think after all is said and done your friend is going to be satisfied with just giving "Mr Ebay Scammer" a negative review. What can you do? Sometimes you\’re the windshield and sometimes you\’re the bug. Life\’s like that.Take carexL


  8. @PatMy words often fail to convey the full depths of the essence of my surroundings. I wish I could bridge the gap between the two and lay my world open for all to see.


  9. @SilentI suppose in a way we are all oblivious to the fate that awaits us. If we knew, would we break free of the bindings that hold us and head down that same road?


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