Friday, September 30, 2011
Lessons From The Great Pumpkin
Maybe not the kind of selection you get later in the season, but they were the first arrivals of the new season. The ambassadors of Fall 2011.
And for me, the day when the pumpkins finally arrive is one of the best all year.
How I love the pumpkin.
Things never quite worked out the way I planned. But that never stopped me. I loved carving those pumpkins.
The fall after college, I came back home, got a part-time job at a cell-phone company call center down the street, and tried to figure out what my next step would be.
One crisp autumn day, I was on my way to the grocery store, when the giant bins of overflowing orange gourds caught my eye.
I started out with the basic patterns they give you in those leafy pumpkin carving pattern books, and soon found designs online. Vincent Price and Jack Nicholson. Dracula and The Invisible Man. Boris Karloff and Michael Myers.
Looking up at the clock, I’d be shocked that it was 10 p.m., and that I had been lost in my own world of pumpkin gore for hours.
It became so much more than just carving a gourd.
That season, I must of carved about twelve to fifteen pumpkins. All of them, eventually shriveled, grew moldy, lost their shape. Faded away. But that was part of the beauty of those pumpkins. The fact that they were just temporary creations somehow gave them more meaning. Nobody would ever carve a pumpkin just like that one ever again.
Sure, maybe the larger stress of figuring out what I wanted to do with my life caused me to lose my mind and go on a wild pumpkin carving spree. But it was the greatest autumn I’d ever had because the true spirit of Halloween came back to me. And I learned something from it.
That you don’t have to leave behind the things that you loved when you were a kid just because that’s the way it’s supposed to be. That they can return to you, in bigger and better ways.
When you’re a kid, it always seems like you had clearer ideas about your life. Clearer images of who you wanted to be – what you wanted to do. When you go through all the rest of it – school, work, bills, life… sometimes your ideas about what you want and who you are become murkier and murkier. Clouded with everything else around you.