This time of year makes me feel a little uneasy. There’s a rustling in the vegetable patch & green finger-like tendrils that were clawing at the edges yesterday, gradually appear to be taking over the path with a silent creeping advancement towards the house. The Pumpkins are coming!
With Halloween only a few days away, I feel my usual aversion to orange pumpkins rising within me. It never really goes away as a close relative, the butternut squash, is now available all year round & the thought of preparing one of those to eat brings me into a cold sweat; their impenetrable skin makes them more like a coconut than anything else. Packed full of goodness, but are they really worth the battle & the risk of losing a digit just to eat them? If anyone has an injury proof way of getting them to the dinner plate, please let me know. Life is too short to prepare squash!
Many, however, do spend many risky hours at Halloween trying to penetrate the tough exoskeleton of orange pumpkins to expose the soft interior only to dump it in a bin. Once empty of all the good stuff, it is much easier to carve shapes & amazing patterns using incredibly sharp knives, but then the hollowed out vegetable is a vestibule for more health & safety issues – naked flames! Custom is, that we then attempt to cook the pumpkin from the inside out using tiny candles. You won’t find Mary Berry doing it that way.
It seems to be increasingly acceptable to risk life & limb to make pumpkin lanterns; acceptable to transform a harmless vegetable into a message of fear. We laugh at monsters roaming the streets at Halloween; in fact we encourage them with the offer of sweets & presents if they can ‘scare’ us enough & have competitions to see who can scare us the most. It does seem increasingly acceptable to celebrate the scary stuff, enjoy the dressing up & make light of ‘the dark side’.
So what happens for the rest of the year? We pretend the bad stuff doesn’t exist; we ignore the scary stuff & hope it will go away; we stay away from the dark corners in our lives & let the demons grow; we tell ourselves we can deal with menacing fears by ourselves. If only life was like a pumpkin & we could carve it out exactly to our design.
That last sentence! If only life was like a pumpkin & we could carve it out exactly to our design.
Read it & you get an ‘if only’ feeling. Action it & you get an ‘I can change things’ feeling. Treat your life just like a Halloween pumpkin! Take it, transform it, have fun with it. If you use a blunt knife, there’s more of a risk of injury than if you use a sharp one. It’s a risk & it takes bravery. Get the right tools & people around you that will help you face any demons you may have – short or long term. Can’t promise it will be fun, but you can make it far less scary.