“Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest.”
Pumpkins—these beautiful orange gourds seem to be everywhere this time of the year: on doorstops, in grocery stores, and of course, in pumpkin patches! I’ve been living in Florida for the past thirty-four years, and the sight of pumpkins makes me nostalgic for my northern roots in the Chicago area. Fall brings a special magic to the heart and soul—and, for those of us who live in tropical regions and don’t experience the changing colors of the fall, the pumpkin really is our first symbol of the season.
Let’s talk about this magnificent thing called the pumpkin for another moment. Here in the States, the pumpkin often brings to mind images of Jack o’ Lanterns and Halloween decorations. This wonder fruit (yes, it’s a fruit!) has been an important staple in North America for many centuries—long before the Native American Indians introduced this abundant and versatile food source to the European settlers.
In a more general sense, and I would also say spiritual sense, pumpkins symbolize abundance—not too much but just enough to share with everyone! They have a prominent place in images of the cornucopia: the horn of plenty. Think about this image for a moment. A large horn-shaped basket is overflowing with colorful fruits, vegetables, flowers, and nuts. The cornucopia represents a successful fall harvest, suggesting a time of plentitude and celebration. It is a comforting image of hope, well-being, and easy times ahead. It’s no accident that fall is the time of year when most people feel at their best.
But, even more than that, the cornucopia symbolizes all of the dedicated work that went into producing the abundant treats within and around the basket. Truly, the fall harvest is a time to celebrate all of our hard work and literally enjoy the fruits of our labor! It is a time for deep and reverent gratitude, culminating with our Thanksgiving Day traditions.
Let’s now take this idea of an abundant harvest a step further: imagine yourself as a basket with plenty of space to fill (there’s even plenty of space around you to fill too!). Over the course of your lifetime, day by day and little by little, you are preparing the ground and planting seeds with everything you do and everywhere you go.
You nurture these seeds, your crops, by being kind to yourself, compassionate with others, and true to your life’s path. Then, as you go along, you have the opportunity to harvest the ripened “fruits”… eventually filling your basket to overflowing. With an abundant cornucopia, a real attitude of abundance in your life, you will have so much to celebrate and share with others—not just during the time of the fall harvest, but every precious moment of your magnificent life.
“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.”