Life started small for me, literally. As a seedling, the world was dark. I was buried beneath roughly patted dirt, never seeing the sun. I became restless. Stretching my roots to expand and grow, and then I began to feel a faint warmth and see a distant glow. The rough, hard dirt that I was used to had began to soften. Soon I was peeking through the surface of the barren patch.
At times, it seemed like the trees that guarded us were playing hide and seek by releasing their leaves to cover me and my friends. As I matured, I pushed them aside and stood tall.
The blackness I had stayed in for so long was mundane compared to the vast explosion of colors above. I too had evolved from a small solid substance to a beautiful ivy green, that was just the beginning. If someone had told me then that life was going to be so short, I would have cherished that moment longer. Unfortunately, no one did.
With each passing day, my peers and I grew just a little larger than the day before. And soon I was done with my simple green leaves and had grown a small bud of sorts, as my friend called it. Each of us taking our own shade, the patch soon was filled with orange, yellow and almost red round masses. We were stunning. It was our prime stage, the one we’d all been waiting for. And soon, as history made its way around the cycle again, a large square object holding many little life forms rolled to a stop just passed our precious guardian trees. Dozens of little beings came rushing out of the large object and into our home. Sadly, today was not my day to go off and start my new chapter.
As I saw the slight twinges of pain my friends had shown when being removed from our most valuable life source, it was almost as if they were transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. This strange moment of confusion and change was something that all of us had wanted since our first kiss of fall air. I decided I was going to sit and mature and grow bigger, better and irresistible for the next round of small kindlings.
I was beautiful. I was confident that this time I would be brought into a new family. A smaller rolling object appeared with much less beings inside. They walked around patch, a family of younglings and adoring caregivers. The two adult creatures watched their young trip over my friends as they searched for the perfect match, their perfect match. Soon, one had come to scoop me up. Feelings of excitement and waves of nausea had overwhelmed me at the touch of their tiny hands around my plump orange self. Pulling me by the hair of my stem made me wince but laugh at their naivety. Soon I was placed on a very cold surface and covered up by warm fitted plastic. Change was occurring faster than I could process and soon I was in a giant rolling beast. Moments had turned into minutes and minutes had turned into hours. I listened to their laughter and peculiar changes in tones as they spoke with one another. I was home.
The family abandoned the beast but I was still lying there. And now the moments that passed were not as fun or comforting. I was alone in a dark place for much longer than I had anticipated, but soon they came back and just as equally as I had been taken from my past home, I was taken into my new “forever home.” There I sat as the warm heavy air slowly pushed against my softening skin. And after smoke filled the air around us and the lights began to dim, I was placed on top of neatly pressed sheets of paper, I was sure that this was the moment, my rite of passage. Looking back, if I could, I would have never have chosen to leave the small pumpkin patch of mine.
Weeks have passed since then. My beautiful coat has now degraded to a muddy brown. All I can remember after the incident is the sweet aroma of cinnamon and sugar pastries. I’m sure they meant well. I’m sure the surgery was only meant to bring as much joy as their laughter seemed to show. And now as I shiver in the cold, I’m touching the sweet crumbling dirt beneath me. The same that I had yearned to run away from. That slow moving, tranquil darkness that I longed to run away from, now seems very peaceful. If I could go back to the pumpkin patch and warn my friends I would, but I can’t. For now I will softly end my cycle here as many of those pumpkins before me had. Just another never-ending cycle of the Halloween pumpkin.
Angelique can be contacted at