pumpkin patch

oh jules…
today i have SO MUCH TO SAY!

there are streetlights and headlights
and stoplights in my curtained view

i am sleeping out in the van tonight.

somehow the steady stream of
cars going by feels like song lyrics
and not noise

to my left is the moon,
though she’s elusive
in this cotton batten sky

my day began,
much like it is now
in the van,
with bright eyes

but this morning
i was driving the kids to school,
in the rain
singing ‘road to joy

and then, at work
i heard a sad story,
far enough in the past
to have the sting removed,
but still, it brought fresh
tears to my eyes.

that wasn’t the only time.

a teacher came in
to buy 15 little pumpkins
for her kindergarten class.

because, she wants
something to be normal.

and since they can’t play
or huddle around a group
pumpkin or share…

she got each of them a little
one to explore and discover,
to count the seeds and
lines and experience it with
all their senses.

and, i was struck again, almost to tears
by all of the little losses.
these incremental challenges
and almost insignificant changes
that amount to a lifetime
of difference…

oh, but later jules,
and this was the magic…

a mom came in with 2 kids,
and she took one out to the
port-a-potty.

the other, who looked about 11,
but was really 14,
suddenly popped her head down
under the storm windows
that serve as decoration/protection

and stated boldly:
“next year i’m going to have a garden like yours.”

now jules,
i cannot tell you how magical this being was
in her backwards screened black
guns n roses hoody

she was BURSTING.

with joy.
with excitement.

i ducked my head down too.
told her i WISH i’d grown all these things…
and then we commiserated
over fledgling broccoli and
absent pumpkins, late blooming peas,
and the perfection of october raspberries.

it was utterly delightful.

it was somehow like she was
my past self or my future self
or some prophet or child
or just a kid who loves her garden.

they went to pick berries
and i wrote her a note
and tied it to a pumpkin.

when i gave it to her, she literally
bounced 2 feet off the ground,
like she was on a pogo stick,
a kangaroo.

sheer joy.

i later found out that they
just moved here from Israel,
and this was her first garden
ever.

at the same time, 3 friends came in,
all wild and blue-haired and colourful.
they wanted a big pumpkin for a cosplay
photo shoot and they too were just delightful.

the entire space was transformed
from a cold and dreary tent to a
bursting, bright oasis of energy.

they showed pictures of their costumes,
and their cat and were just so
excited about pumpkins.

pumpkins!

i actually love pumpkins.

there is something so childlike,
so whimsical and magical
and practical and playful about pumpkins,
working at a pumpkin patch
really is delightful.

anyway,
they hauled their wagon of
massive pumpkins out of the way
for the next customer to arrive.

and she leaned under the window,
just like the young gardener,
though she was 70 years
her senior

and shared that her husband
had just “gone to be with Jesus”
last week.

and with tears in her eyes,
she still called it a reason for
joyous celebration.

oh but jules,
i cry even now.

for the tension between it all
for this tightrope of a life

for joy and sorrow,
the magic and the mundane

how each breath can be full of
every paradox

how a moment can be transformed

how we hold all of it
in our hearts
and in our
bodies.

and then jules,
this evening,
i decided to stay at work.

so i walked into the forest,
blissfully alone.
with the moon peeking out
of a sunset sky.

my boots were leaky
and the trail was mud.

and i smiled with each
step to the hidden pumpkin patch.
and i sat among it all
and thought about this day.

then i said goodnight to the goats.

and i remembered why i love
the road and strange familiar places
and sunset and streetlights
and sweet sadness

then i returned to the luxurious
warmth of my van all plugged in
and ate a cold dinner of
leftover beans with
more bright eyes on the tiny
speaker

and i just feel full of joy.

and full of sadness.

and so filled up

in the places that only solitude
and moonlight and
magic

can reach.

xo

2 thoughts on “pumpkin patch

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