The Pumpkin Patch

I have a theory . Actually, I have many theories, and some of them make sense, tho not all. This one is about our need for finding fulfillment and meaning. Most people are absorbed, in one fashion or another, in the search for The One.

The One  meaning the thing that we each want, the things that will fill, in whatever form, the empty space that the heart holds in waiting. Sometimes it is a person, but  it might also be that BMW, a dream job, or understanding boss, a university degree  or a house, a certain body, child to live beyond our time, a cure for  an illness. For some of us, it is enough money to be secure, although security is an illusive and fickle mistress, whose wants are never satiated. A moveable goal, money. Most of the folks I know well would like to have a relationship with a mate, especially if they do not currently have a partner.  Whatever it is, at that moment, I believe that we all are waiting and searching,  consciously and unconsciously for The One

I cultivate hopes,  lust really, for that big diamond ring, some measure of success, and persons who will  understand and love me as well as my quirky ways. I foster desires that they will be the right ones, the ones that will  complete me, or satisfy my needs for security and approval, and some bling  as well, some sparkle besides. I would like to look good doing good.  My expectation is that pleasure or fulfillment will  follow shortly after I get what I yearn for. When deep into my spiritual time-out place, this getting what I want also proves God's love, of me, I imagine. I will be whole. Subsequently I will flush with the  confidence that I have become the person I wish to be, through that thing, and  others will all witness this fact, and acknowledge me, appreciate me, approve of me.  My own dreams also then come true. 

That is often what I think, in  private but without a scrap of evidence that this thinking is even reasonable, if not completely deluded.Sounds foolish and childlike, I know, to even hold those expectations; but perhaps I can posit solution to my own thinking.

 I have found one  answer, there surely are others. I want to pass it along to you, to share an answer. You can have The One. You can have that fulfillment; you can have the adventure of seeking and securing your dream. It is available. It is available to you.It is available to me.

It is available at the pumpkin patch.

Each fall, for many years now, my local family members and I have gone out to a farm nearby to hunt pumpkins. This is a practice of many in my area, and results in  numerous squash, photographic portraits and memories for all. With considerations for the hospitality of the weather, we have either wandered through fields laying waste to crunchy desiccated vines beneath us, tramped through mud splattered up to our knees; or at other times reveling in  the chill air chasing a lingering late summers warmth, azurine blue skies framing impossibly pompous cumulus clouds above us. On the ground below are small  pumpkin whose growth was halted by hungry rodents snatching their dinners first, long before our rapacious public viewing even  begins; heedlessly gnawing and chewing, scrapings which remain forever on the skin, leaving their pumpkin potential  malformed or undeveloped.  

Forever, the perfect pumpkin lies somewhere beyond where we now stand, and we must eventually march doggedly toward them for a personal inspection, willing The One into view. We enjoy this search, this inkblot test of one's own psyche by choosing something personal, like a pumpkin.  With or without handles?  Where is that perfect orange globe, did I miss it, or pass it by? Has someone else taken it before I got here?  Eventually, we all find ourselves pumkinated, we pay our bills, and pile our treasures in trunks for their ride home.

We also take our pumpkin carving seriously, with many tools, and a lot of physicality involved in turning out our 10-12 orange globes of creative expression.

Nearly always, at some point, a whooping exchange of what are rudely called pumpkin guts occurs, primarily  between our male members, the big ones and the young ones, who have been coached by their elders into enthusiastic acts of unapologetically unseemly  behavior. Many taunts and insults are exchanged, and clean up is a group project. The functional age of each is approximately 6 years old during this time, and since the adults lead in the shrieks of conquest and revenge that define this event, formal entertaining is discouraged. But, without fail, everyone has a smile on their faces, and eventually we do turn out a number of seasonal examples of carved villains and ogres, ghastly beings. 

Our results are then displayed like the trophies of hunter gatherers we once were, shining and nearly perfect,  our  collection of very temporary art, our annual bits of memory refurbished and placed into the account for future access. Our pumpkin trophy hunt is concluded, shining from within and photographed from without. We wait till dark for the glowing effect to be complete, and then snap pictures of the “best ever”.

If you like, plan a trip for next fall to the pumpkin patch with your girlfriends, your lovers, or your family. Borrow a small child, or a big one. When you get there, you will be able to position yourself upon the dry earth below your feet; spot the best vantage from among the vines and drying leaves, the tracks of small creatures. Breathe in the fall air, the crisp hint of oncoming snow, the clear sky of autumn. Or wear your mudders, and tug on your gloves, taking what nature may give you with giddy abandon.

Why does this matter? Here, I tell myself, right now, we have the opportunity to select from the hundreds or maybe thousands of available specimens, all matured at the same time, all ready for us, all waiting to be chosen. Timing is NOW. We can seek out the rounded, the full the squat, the tall, or the unusual. We can deliberately ignore or select those with bad surface discolorations, or peculiar shapes; those with green on one side, a certain sign of approaching maturity, although uncompleted aging. We could even walk away from all defects in the physical realm in an effort to find the most beautiful. Seeking perfection, we can also walk away to search for another in a single-minded pursuit of excellence. 

The potential is great and must be evaluated: one beauty is a pumpkin with scars from a bit of rough handling, another has more weathered field exposure, and  there are always  asymmetrical pumpkins, unusual and engaging; suitable so long as they have a handle with which to hold, an interesting shape. It just takes time, and thought. 

But what if, instead, I am the chosen, and I am being measured, weighed, evaluated and scanned for my defects and my potential. I can hear the small whispers of selection being made,? It might just be that I, the tall and pink person, is the one on parade, and in my ignorance, have  thought that only I have sentient thought.

The game has just shifted.

Whichever the selection turns out to be, once in the trunk of my car, the selected  one becomes my muse, and I it's artist must work with it to let it shine in it's uniqueness, let it become what was envisioned.  Am I up to the task? Are there others out there? Yes, there are, oh so many. But, they will belong to another seeker, they must follow another path. This one has become The One specifically because  I have chosen it, and it has chosen me. I seem fulfilled, by what I have selected, but I am certain indeed that I find my satisfaction while working with what has chosen  me. 

In the pumpkin patch, the eye can select for symmetry, character, uniqueness, beauty or durability. Here, among the trammeled paths, is the One, and certainly, the only. What I do with that, ah, that is the hope of potential undiscovered.

Happy Hunting.