The pumpkin offload at church takes several hours--it's all human labor, no conveyor belts or machines to help. Well, we had 2 wheelbarrows, which saved us some time, but not much. Handing pumpkins hand to hand gives a person time to think. And I thought about the great diversity in pumpkins, especially when we got the occasional green pumpkin.
This warty pumpkin made me smile. We only got a few of those.
I also liked this one, with its curling stem.
And hauling pumpkins with my own two hands gave me time to reflect. Does every culture equate smallness with cuteness?
As we nestled some of the pumpkins with the tropical flowers, I thought about how some of us, but only a very few of us, head out to cultures that are not ours and never return.
I thought of the spider that we found, who started out in a pumpkin patch in New Mexico and won't be able to return. Will that spider always yearn for a different climate? Or will the spider learn to love its new home?
I thought of how we accept diversity in a church pumpkin patch, but not in the larger culture. And of course, I thought about how even in the church pumpkin patch, we can only accept a certain amount of diversity, if we want to make sales. People expect their pumpkins to look a certain way.
I think of all the ways we have to be of service. Some of us carry pumpkins. Some of us sell them. Others of us bring water and remind us to take breaks when we need it. There are many ways to build a community, and we all can play a part.
Best Essay Collections of 2017 by Women Authors
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