You know it is fall when the pumpkins in your garden begin to ripen. The thing of it is—I didn’t plant any. Still, there they are growing on the slope that used to lie beneath the shade of a spruce: ten, perfect mini pumpkins. Until the devastating storm two months ago, there wasn’t a spot sunny enough to grow them. We almost didn’t notice them amidst the bumper crop of weeds. We’ve been distracted with roofing and siding and haven’t had the inclination to garden in this summer’s drought and heat. Now that the heat and humidity are beginning to wane, however, I am out in the yard on my hands and knees most days patiently making room for next spring—she’ll need a landing strip.
Now and then, I’ve been tempted to grumble as the Aftermath continues to eat up our days, but those pumpkins make me smile; they remind me that I am not the one in control; they remind me of the unexpected blessing and bounty I have received this summer. There are also some wild violets growing on the slope and a single stalk of corn growing beside the driveway. I didn’t plant those either. Each of these surprises brings me joy and lifts my heart like a promise.