Pumpkin and Pumpkin Art

The Pumpkin and a Prayer

What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

The Pumpkin
John Greenleaf Whittier, 1807 – 1892

Oh, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun,
The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run,
And the rock and the tree and the cottage enfold,
With broad leaves all greenness and blossoms all gold,
Like that which o’er Nineveh’s prophet once grew,
While he waited to know that his warning was true,
And longed for the storm-cloud, and listened in vain
For the rush of the whirlwind and red fire-rain.

On the banks of the Xenil the dark Spanish maiden
Comes up with the fruit of the tangled vine laden;
And the Creole of Cuba laughs out to behold
Through orange-leaves shining the broad spheres of gold;
Yet with dearer delight from his home in the North,
On the fields of his harvest the Yankee looks forth,
Where crook-necks are coiling and yellow fruit shines,
And the sun of September melts down on his vines.

Ah! on Thanksgiving day, when from East and from West,
From North and from South comes the pilgrim and guest;
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
The old broken links of affection restored,
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before,
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

Oh, fruit loved of boyhood! the old days recalling,
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
When we laughed round the corn-heap, with hearts all in tune,
Our chair a broad pumpkin,—our lantern the moon,
Telling tales of the fairy who travelled like steam
In a pumpkin-shell coach, with two rats for her team!

Then thanks for thy present! none sweeter or better
E’er smoked from an oven or circled a platter!
Fairer hands never wrought at a pastry more fine,
Brighter eyes never watched o’er its baking, than thine!
And the prayer, which my mouth is too full to express,
Swells my heart that thy shadow may never be less,
That the days of thy lot may be lengthened below,
And the fame of thy worth like a pumpkin-vine grow,
And thy life be as sweet, and its last sunset sky
Golden-tinted and fair as thy own Pumpkin pie!

Isn’t this poem just the thing to get ready for Thanksgiving? I certainly hope that earlier-than-ever-marketing of Halloween and crafts and pumpkin coffee etc hasn’t exhausted your appreciation for these “broad spheres of gold!” 

Fall Pumpkin Coloring Page – I really enjoy Megan’s artwork at Balancing Home. You need to subscribe to her mailing list to get this free printable download, but she is respectful of her readers. Not too many posts, and all are good. We printed this page, colored it up and placed in an acrylic slant frame to add some Autumn to the kitchen.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies –  These are a Fall back-to-school staple in my household.  The cookies are soft, slightly spicy and have an orange tinge. The Daughter used to bake a few dozen of these to take for parties, but found that people are reluctant to try them because they look different. This used to offend her. Then she realized that it meant plenty of leftovers for her.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds – Once the pumpkins are carved, and the trick-or-treaters have gone home, and the chili has been eaten, The Daughter washes and roasts the pumpkin seeds. They always turn out great!  Just a tip – this recipe also work for any kind of winter squash.  We make acorn squash through the winter, and The Daughter tolerates it because she knows she’ll get the seeds.

Pumpkin Pie with Ginger Streusel –  This is the pie we’re planning for Thanksgiving. What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye? What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

Hopefully you’re pondering your blessings and preparing for a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. This post, A Thanksgiving Prayer that God Might Rarely Hear, originally published in 2012, reminds us to be thankful in all circumstances, and for things that we have not received. The Garners found it helpful then, and have made it a meaningful tradition to ponder every year, as we move through Thanksgiving into Advent and Christmas.

And our prayer for you:

And the prayer, which my mouth is too full to express,
Swells my heart that thy shadow may never be less,
That the days of thy lot may be lengthened below,
And the fame of thy worth like a pumpkin-vine grow,
And thy life be as sweet, and its last sunset sky
Golden-tinted and fair as thy own Pumpkin pie!

 

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