The Pumpkin PatchEssays, Featured — By jordan.corona78 on May 23, 2012 at 7:34 am
The day was cool and bright. The ground, moist and vivid with magnificent hues of brown and red and tan generously lifted place of pastures and plow rows with a heavenly aura. The aromatic sensation, soundly weighted with the condensation of a goodnight’s rain sang in chorus with all things green and all things living a strangely bio-doxology- Gloria!
In the distance, the dusty crunch of gravel announced my arrival. Rays of sun light were attentive to the entry, illuminating the dingy Nissan pickup up and the rising cloud following. A breeze from the north met the late arrivals filling the cab with a heart-felt welcome.
In other news…an NPR reporter continued. Protestors in surrounding regions see the fall of Libya’s Maumar [static break] as a hopeful sign…
The authoritative reporter’s voice contrasted the glorious silence of the pastures of goats and sorghum. I turned the radio down and shifted into 2nd gear, leaned my head back and took a breath.
Sometimes the part of my life spent among other life seems so much more full. There’s tension no doubt, in a pulled muscle. Pain and frustration are in a misplaced hammer and a task that has been neglected for too long. Toil, agitation, blood, sweat, frustration are in abundance here. They have a place here. Being in the presence of a well ordered botanical paradise, renders all such unpleasentries somehow worth it; somehow good. The efforts and sacrifice, find their place in perfectly ordered, cyclical creation.
Indeed a day’s work with the Creator’s blessing may be the only escape from man’s agrarian curse.
Stress kills people. I think the worse part of that kind of a death is that there is no resolve to it. Where does worry, apprehension, and fear find its place among the budding, the delicate, the singing, the bleating? Does mitotic division, have a time set apart for the cell to have second thoughts?
The Misfortune will be the death of us all, making waste of its prey.
But for now- for the moment of the five ‘o’ clock setting sun, the gritty shadow upon my face, the breeze and truck load of manure, NPR, and the chorus of biological life, the day and it’s Initiator smiled upon us- it is good.
He waddled among calloused clay, staggered over crags, and dried roots- desolation. Of course it’s a typical sight for a field mouse. A 12-month drought and an unusually hot Texas summer, made it an even more common landscape.
Something in the air, that day, moved upon the creature in a way that seemed, to him, remotely familiar. His recollection bore no witness to his mind’s intense pangs, yet all his faculties seemed willing to give it a try. A smell? The season change, perhaps?
The chorus sang, the farmers hoed, I watered. The work was good. The ground was soft. The sun was warm upon our backs. We were upon the world that for once, seemed to be in agreement.
Across the southland pastures, sharp oat grass and sorghum stalks left ungrazed looked confused and out of place as they awaited irrigation. It would be some time before the lush grazing pastures would look soft and pleasant again, but for now it was enough that they could hold any vegetation whatsoever.
The water was hard this summer. And demanding goats are rarely passive about eating and drinking everything visible.
All that was changing, however, and the honest reds and yellows in the pepper garden were as signal flares to soil and sod that time had decided in their favor and they would soon see better days. In fact, the new season had already begun for anything in the southeast field.
The field mouse scurried with an anticipation of sorts. Instinct had awakened something in the back of his head. Now he was keenly navigating the southland pasture, progressing towards the chorus of green.
I dunked another bucket into a vat of fertilizer. It sloshed and belched forth a sort of organic funk; the kind you may associate with the vitamin aisle at your local organic grocery store.
The pumpkin patch was infantile, meek and mild with vines and foliage that extended and coiled like green, terrestrial octopi. Hidden, tucked away, beneath the loops and gnarled, matted vine, lay fleshy treasures. Fruits for fall harvest rested, undisturbed and silent. Embedded with in the blanket of healthy foliage, young pumpkins enjoyed the cool of wet ground. Soft and green, they knew no danger in the arms of the vine. Round and plump, they hungered not in that day’s abundance of new water and fresh fertilizer. The sight did something magical for the rodent.
Instinct had moved his physiology to migrate, and now, before him was an expanse of health, and life, and water. The pumpkin patch was a far cry from the southland pasture. Goats were not even allowed to graze here. Competition for and with other resources was obviously a concept too far removed from this place by the simple matter of its abundance. The mouse wondered if it could learn to adapt. The prospect was a sure thing
Eagerly, humbly, with carefully timed scurry and scat, he made his way into the vegetable abyss. Taking refuge beneath the shade of a great leaf, he lay in the arms of the vine.
I was quiet as I distributed my last bucket-full. The work had taken its toll on the farmers. With all grace and efficiency we were made sufficiently tired. We were satisfied. I kneeled down. I uncovered the last root. I made my last deposit.
I rose. Setting my foot firmly on a stray leaf, I caught my balance and took my leave. From with in the bed of vines and leaves, a ruckus emerged. The stalks quaked. Shaking violently, they looked confused- puzzled, as I.
The misfortune behind the stir in pumpkin paradise soon identified itself. I can still recall the mouse as he emerged from the green deep. Intensity filled his dark, liquid eye. At a loss for direction, he scurried in circles about his crushed limp appendage. Alas, he lay in shock, beneath a flap of discarded weed tarp. His tail was fully erect. I watched his tiny diaphragm convulse and assume a steady breathing pattern. It was slow and heavy.
His coat was pretty and brindled. I felt my heart moved. I felt silly. He twitched. I blinked. I thought long and deep for a moment. His tail relaxed and went limp.
I’ve never broken a bone…I thought to myself. I remember a biking accident my little brother had when he was thirteen. The same intensity that filled his eyes, and the way his body went into survival mode for a time. The fear that entered his being when very real pain almost became too real.
It’s a sobering thing when mortality pays a visit to paradise.