It seems, at times, that within a six-month period, everything changed this year. I don’t know how many times my wife and I have discussed how many things were affected by this “covid thing,” as I have begun to call it. I have no idea how much is true about the virus, how much we need to do, if masks work or not, if social distancing works or, if having restaurants that close their doors but allow you to dine at picnic tables, in tents, right outside their doors, works… or not. (I’ve really wondered about that one.) There is one thing I do know, at least as far as how things were affected or not here in Vermont. The pumpkins still grew.
Every year I look forward to my very favorite season, which is fall. By this time of year I am actually slightly tired of the great weather, (I know, that’s strange,) and I start looking forward, just a bit, to an evening chill and the brisk breezes that blow and swirl our maple leaves around, (and hopefully off our lawn.) I also always look forward to the appearance of those enormous orange balls… pumpkins. This year is very different from every other one I can remember, with struggles, and hardships, and protests, and sickness. But the pumpkins still grew.
Yes, I love those pumpkins of fall! To me, there is just nothing like a pile of golden, red, and orange leaves surrounding a display of big, ripe, beautiful pumpkins on someone’s lawn. Okay. I know. They are just simple squash. Still, they are healthy and robust, and are living reminders that all has not changed throughout our land. Not every life form is prone to some strange sickness.
We are still experiencing a terrible virus; we have protests and even riots in our land. We are facing a very divided election season. Still, in it all, those big orange pumpkins grew. We deserve, or at least they deserve, some credit for that. Not everything has changed.
If you think about it, the very round word October, the time of the pumpkin, “The Great Pumpkin”, jack-o-lanterns, and everything else ‘pumpkin’, from pie to flavored coffee, is somewhat like a pumpkin, itself. In fact, in some fancy typing fonts the letters ‘Oct’ appear almost as an elegant, robust circle followed by slight vines and leaves. (Try AR DECODE, for instance.) The five round letters in the name of that month also remind me of a full moon, spooky sounds, and other things about one of my favorite enjoyments, the recollections of my own, juvenile, ‘ancient’ past, the late OCtOber night called Halloween.
So, yes, and without a doubt, this is a very different year. Things have changed a lot. Trick-or-treaters may not knock on our doors this year. (Hey, maybe I’m wrong. Those guys have ALWAYS worn masks!) Holiday parties may be few; candy apples may not be made for late October celebrations.
Still, we are who we are. Our kids and grandkids still need to be taught the fine art of pumpkin carving. Lawn decorations and porch luminaries are still very important. I’ve said this before, and for many years: There is nothing like the smell of a sooty-sweet, candle-lit carved pumpkin.
Say what you want about crime, protests, elections, viruses, and the whole rest of what seems to define the year 2020. I’m very glad the pumpkins still grew.