Bring on the Pumpkins!
As certain as the shortened days of sunlight and a drop in the temperatures, the coming of autumn is accompanied by the dependable appearance of pumpkins everywhere. There are pumpkins of every size—from little ones as small as apples to the HUGE varieties that you can’t even pick up by yourself. (The largest pumpkin on record weighed in at 2,703 pounds!)
In addition to the familiar bright orange color, pumpkins can also come in shades of blue, grey, tan, dark green and rich hues of reddish orange. They can be nearly round, tall and stout, rather wide and flat, and they may have deep ridges or a nearly smooth exterior surface. The various types of pumpkins often have fanciful names like Hooligan, Gladiator, Speckled Swan, Cinderella, Mystic, Blue Hubbard, Sugar Pie, and (of course) Jack-O-Lantern.
Pumpkins are a popular part of many cultures, especially during the fall season’s life-enriching activities, traditions and cultural celebrations. While pumpkin pies and pumpkin spice are ubiquitous in American recipes during autumn, they are also used in the cuisines of many cultures, with dishes that can be savory, spicy, or sweet. And it wouldn’t surprise me a bit to encounter pumpkins as part of the decorations of any gathering —especially as jack-o-lanterns at Halloween.
Pumpkins provide a colorful and flavorful example of how celebrating our diversity makes our lives so enjoyable but, more importantly, meaningful. Our Mission to extend God’s care through the ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing is best achieved by embracing the extraordinary variety of life experiences, talents, skills and perspectives of both our Adventist HealthCare team members and the community we serve.
So when I see all the various pumpkins start appearing in windows, on front stoops or as part of centerpieces, I welcome the reminder to be deeply grateful for the distinctiveness, individual flare and blessings that each of us bring to our Adventist HealthCare family! Bring on the pumpkins!