This summer I was gifted with a pumpkin patch.
It began with a sapling that Roo brought home from school on Arbor Day. Steve helped her plant it in the front yard, adding a bit of compost from the tumbler. Before long, a small vine was growing from the soil, and after that, it began to overtake the tiny tree.
I carefully uprooted the vine and transplanted to the backyard, behind the shed where the constant digging of holes by children had turned over and aerated the soil. Another mini vine sprouted and another and another. Each time, I removed the vine from the front yard to the back where they thrived.
There were four vines, total.
It was an exciting day when I noticed the first pumpkin beginning to grow. When we returned from July’s vacation, it was round and green, and there was another beginning to grow. All from a handful of compost.
I should note that each fall when we visit the pumpkin patch, I think, Next spring I am going to plant pumpkins.
Then I don’t.
Not every bright yellow flower turns into a pumpkin. It has to be a pollinated female flower, which doesn’t happen as easily as it sounds. The female flower opens for a day. It took awhile to notice that second pumpkin growing. Then the third.
Because the vines were planted at different stages, they produced at different times. And many female flowers blossomed and dropped off.
Three pumpkins! Come on number four!
Then it happened. Pumpkin number three grew rotten. A tiny insect had bored a hole into it that I didn’t see at first. I should have recognized it sooner, but by the time I did, it was mushy and hollow, and rolled right away from the vine.
I felt angry.
Just like Jonah.
You know, the time when God caused a vine to grow up to shade him, and then a worm came and gobbled a hole in it. I am not trying to make any more of a theological comparison other than here I was disappointed and disgusted that I was not getting enough pumpkins when I had not even planted a seed!
There were a few more pumpkins that started and then never developed fully. After all was said and done, I ended up with three pumpkins from my surprise patch. Two small. One large.
I also ended up with valuable insight as to the level of gratefulness that I fail to exhibit and the memory of the joy that the daily discoveries brought to me in my surprise pumpkin patch of 2016.