Monday, October 28, 2013

O is for pumpkins

Writing a letter recently I stopped the pen at October. It was the first word down and at the top of the sheet. 

The O which grandly started out the date caused me to pause a moment.

O is ideal as the starting letter of the month of October it occurred to me. 

October is the month of pumpkins. "O is for pumpkins" may not be alliterative but it's to the point. 

O is the shape of the pumpkins which dominate fall decorations and fill our thoughts with the good tastes of the season.

October in our area has become one big pumpkin patch. Pumpkins sell in stores, at stands in city parking lots (where venders bring their produce) and they glow like big orange bulbs in the growing fields outside town.

Field pumpkins were unknown to me as a girl. I don't recall seeing pumpkins in gardens or planted as a crop. The first October I saw pumpkins in their natural state at the side of the road it took my breath away. It was beautiful to me.

We were small town kids who lived in the country in the summer and went back with the start of school in September. The essence of the season of bringing in the abundance of the land was known to us only in a generic way. 

Country neighbors had the satisfaction of watching pumpkins grow large for bringing in for making pumpkin pies and carving jack o'lanterns. We weren't part of this richness of completion and expectation.

With the return to the classroom summer and the largesse that fulfilled itself in the harvest dropped from our minds. Halloween with bags of candy on the horizon was the harvest we pretty much concentrated on.

Nowadays buying pumpkins in October is like visiting apple orchards. We gravitate to the rituals which, more than the calendar, let us feel the change in the days. 

This year's pumpkin is purchased, carved and rests on our doorstep. It awaits the costumed parade that makes Halloween night go quickly as the treats are handed out.

October is festive with decorations. It holds its own with Christmas soon to come. Pumpkins on doorsteps, tubs of golden chrysanthemums in front yards, cornstalks tied to mailboxes, bright fall foliage and the very red rosehips and other berries which are winter's fruit make it a pretty month.

Pumpkins are also to be seen as canned pumpkin on the grocery aisles. As customers we're being reminded to buy ahead for Thanksgiving Day. It's probably a smart thing to do. 

O is for pumpkins. Perhaps no other month is paired with its motif so perfectly.

Ro Giencke
October 28, 2013

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