Thursday, November 1, 2012

Field Report from Our Sincere Pumpkin Patch

Like the Christmas season, Halloween is a holiday that makes me wish I had children who could still be enchanted. 

I do laugh at myself: this year, I couldn't even manage to get a bag of candy for trick-or-treaters, and I say I want children?

My sweet husband left the porch light on for me, and faced our first trick-or-treaters.  I know this because I called him shortly after they arrived; I needed to let him know that I was slightly later than I thought I would be.  He sounded out of breath.  I asked if he was all right.

He said, "Yes, but we just got our first trick-or-treaters."

I said, "Quick!  Turn out the porch light."  When he said that he had, I asked, "So, what did you do?  Give them pennies?"

He said, "We don't have any pennies.  So I gave them apples.  One of the kids said, 'Apples!  I love apples!'  And I gave one to the dad."

I thought of the scary stories of my youthful trick-or-treating, the razors that we were sure would be buried in apples. I hope that no one thinks of those stories anymore. I hope that our only trick-or-treaters didn't throw out my mountain apples!

My spouse reports that when the children walked away, he heard the boy say, "I thought it was a haunted house."  I'm trying not to read too much into that.

I arrived home, and we had a lovely supper while watching a rerun of M*A*S*H.  What a treat--it was a Halloween episode.  What great writing.

And then, a special treat:  It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  I was overjoyed.  While I love a good Halloween episode of The Simpsons, there's something just so special about the Peanuts gang.

I was also struck by how much wisdom the show contains.  My spouse and I both said we wished more people would follow the advice of Linus when he said, "I've learned that there are three things you should never discuss:  religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin."

Maybe it was our bleary-eyed exhaustion or maybe we're both liberal-artsy people, but we saw much symbolism in the waiting for the Great Pumpkin.  My spouse focused on the religious allegory, and I thought of the show as a metaphor for the creative life.

Sometimes we have to wait in our pumpkin patches while others get to have parties and treats.  Sometimes we sit in our patch, hoping its sincere enough for the Great Pumpkin.  Even if the Great Pumpkin (whatever that represents in your creative life) doesn't come, you can still have interesting adventures along the way.  Some of your friends and family will understand your life in the pumpkin patch.  Many more will not. 

What a wonderful show.  I loved the colors and the autumnal theme.  I think I like this Charlie Brown show best of all.  If you're the kind of person who likes little-known facts, go to this story in The Washington Post.

We ended the night by watching a Cheers rerun--again, a holiday theme and great writing.

And now our thoughts may turn to more somber things. Today is the Feast of All Saints, tomorrow the Feast of All Souls. For a photo meditation, go to this post on my theology blog, and for a post with suggestions for how to celebrate, see this post. Tomorrow, I'll write a post here about these holidays and their significance for creative folks.

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