October and the Power of Pumpkin

pumpBeloved fictional character Anne of Green Gables once said, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

I whole-heartedly agree.

October is such a moody, exciting month with the vibrant colors, crisp weather and kickoff to the holiday season. It’s the heart of fall and usually the month when I can finally tuck away tedious tees, shorts and flip flops for the year and pull out hoodies, hats, boots, scarves, sweaters, flannels and wools.

Oh, just listing them makes me feel cozy!

This year’s extended Indian summer has delayed the debut of my favorite fashion season. In my anxiousness to end the standoff, I wore a knitted beanie to my son’s soccer game the other day. Though it was still unseasonably warm out, I justified it was indeed the blustery month of October so I could pull it off. And pull it off I did after getting several odd looks and cheeky comments from fellow side-liners about looking “hot,” not in the good way. Truthfully, I was burning up in the eighty-degree weather wearing a yarn sauna on my head.

But no matter the weather, there’s an autumn icon that’s always fitting and fashionable for October: The Pumpkin.

All you have to do is browse Pinterest to see everything’s gone gourdy. And why not? This squash sister is the bomb! It’s pure magic with its varieties and versatility. It’s carved, painted, decorated and displayed. It’s cooked into soups, sauces and casseroles, baked into breads, cakes, cookies, pies and bars, even fermented into port, and squeezed into a juice even Harry Potter and chums favor for refreshment. Pumpkin seeds have medicinal properties, not to mention addictive qualities when brushed with olive oil, sifted with sea salt then roasted into crunchy crack.

Pumpkins are worn in costume, rolled, thrown, catapulted and smashed for sport, celebrated in festivals, contests and traditions, fed to farm animals and even worshiped by freaks. They’re the subject of stories, songs, poems, fables, folktales, fairy tales, movies and legends. A pumpkin served as a viable head replacement, was transformed into a fancy carriage to take a princess to a ball, and immortalized by Sally and a blockhead in a sincere pumpkin patch with the greatest childhood lament speech ever written. Though trendy kale has risen to recent stardom with lofty titles of “superfood” and “the new beef” it will never match pumpkin power (or taste good to me).

Let’s face it—we’re pumpkin junkies.

And when did this obsession start? I believe long ago in an October. Because, “There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir: We must rise and follow her, When from every hill of flames She calls, and calls each vagabond by name” said scholar William Bliss. Such an exhilarating month required a symbol, a mascot—a hero even! And the hero became a big orange gourd.

Go figure.

I hope you’ve joined the pumpkin palooza! I hope you’re enjoying October! Give in to the gypsy spirit and go a little crazy. Wear a beanie even though it’s too hot for October! Name your baby October even though he was born in April, like my friend did! (Yeah, that might have been a little too much gypsy spirit, poor kid.)

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