February Pumpkin

Mel and I often laugh about her February pumpkin, and it’s become an analogy for how there really is a time and a season for all things. A couple years back, per her usual, Mel bought a pumpkin in early October and carved it out with her superb skills. As the weeks passed, the poor thing took a beating from the squirrels and weather.

jack-o-lantern. Pumpkin

“Throw that thing away!” I said more than once while raking leaves and then again while putting up Christmas lights, or maybe that was the year we skipped outdoor decorations. (Once the freezing temperatures set in, we’re like hibernating bears. We only ventured out for food and necessities).

But Mel wouldn’t do it. “The little thing deserves to live on as long as possible.” On principle, I wouldn’t do it either. It wasn’t my responsibility.

Throughout January, the pumpkin wilted and turned into a goupy pancake or a frozen one. Then February came and only a shell of the pancake remained. One day, the wind kicked up, dried out the ground and everything else. The frail pumpkin pancake caught flight and blew off the step into the yard and then finally away.

Mel was sad to see it go. She’d invested a lot of time and creativity into her pumpkin and now it was gone. All that remained was the memory. Maybe her behavior was a little extreme, but artists…what are you gonna do? <grin>

Winter pumpkins

When I think about that pumpkin and her reaction, I’m reminded of two things. What it means to truly appreciate something, and that all things created with purpose are only meant to last for a season. No matter how we might try to resist change. It’s inevitable. We have to be willing to let go … sooner or later.

This year (two years later), Mel created another masterpiece then left for her London home. “Please take care of my pumpkin, and don’t send me pictures of the squirrels destroying it. I don’t want to see it wither away.”

“I’ll take care of it.” I promised. Once the squirrels started eating out the eye sockets, I dumped it into the trash. No February pumpkin this year, but we have memories, the gems that stay with us long after the seasons pass.

In the mood for more stories with life lessons? Check out some of my previously published and award winning stories here. Or if you’d like to know more about Mel, you can read about her on our About Us page. Also check out her Instagram @Melcabre2 and her Patreon Creature Look Book if you’re into fantasy lore and creature building.

Do you have a February pumpkin story? I’d love to hear it.