Sad but true: my garden has officially kicked the bucket. Well, for this year, at least. The frosty grim reaper crept into Charlotte and touched my backyard garden with its icy finger, turning my once green, flourishing leaves into black, droopy lifeless vines. This sight was particularly sad for me because it was my first year as a gardener and I was really starting to enjoy finding cucumbers, peppers, fresh herbs, and eggplants, and making concoctions out of my “harvest” for dinner. There were the “hits” – such as the cucumber, tomato, basil, and goat cheese salad, and the “misses” – like the stuffed banana peppers that I could not taste or see because my mouth was on fire and my eyes were watering (did I mention I accidentally planted super hot banana peppers? And then added diced, fresh grown super hot serrano peppers to the stuffing?) But either way, seeing my garden like that was a sad sight. But, being that this blog focuses on the positives of every day of every season, I chose to make a day to clean the garden out so that I could start fresh again for next year.
I knew that I had a couple of small eggplants, some banana peppers, and some garlic to collect, but that was about it. But, as I was ripping out vines, I noticed that part of the vine had gone into the bushes. As I attempted to pull it up I realized that there was something connected to it. You could imagine my surprise when I saw:
Yes. Holy crap, there it was. The motherload. This big, fat, pumpkin squash, when diced up, could probably feed us for two weeks. It was the biggest thing by far that ever came out of that garden, and the irony is that I never even knew it was there. I had stopped watering weeks ago, ceased eagerly checking every day like I had in the summer to see what was growing and what was ready. And yet, right when I’m about to close up shop for the winter, there it was. I couldn’t help but stop and realize how much this applies to life. Sometimes we wait for things so anxiously; micro-managing, trying to control it, trying to will it into our lives. But it isn’t until we almost give up on it, turn our backs on it or re-direct our attention somewhere else that it finally emerges from the weeds, having been there all along. So I guess my point is, don’t ever give up hope, because when you least expect it, sometimes life hands you a big, fat, pumpkin squash – and you better be ready for it.