We went to the corn maze and pumpkin patch today. Corn mazes are, I think, more fun with kids who can walk. The kids (mine and my brothers, so five under six) thought the corn maze was okay, but really liked the corn "sand" box. It was full of dried corn kernels instead of sand. A very big hit, as were the pumpkins themselves.
I have never seen so many types of pumpkins in my life. There were the usual carving pumpkins and the white luminas that are starting to show up in the stores. There were also the tiny white and orange pumpkins and long necked, horned gourds. Beyond that, there were varieties I'd never seen. Huge green gourds that looked like swans with curved necks (called swan-neck gourds, surprise!), green pumpkins that looked like huge green apples, pale green ones with curves and frills (I don't know what they're called; my sister-in-law called them Shrek pumpkins), squat, broad pumpkins so intensely orange they were almost red called Cinderellas, flat little white pumpkins for baking called Amish bakers, right next to the normal bakers found in some supermarkets, pale orange pumpkins so smooth they looked like glazed porcelain and peanut pumpkins covered in pumpkiny warts. I'm sure I've left some out; I forgot a camera. It was quite a sight.
God gifted pumpkins with an innate sort of cheer. Perhaps it is the association with harvest and plenty. Maybe it's the natural thought of pumpkin pie or the vibrant color. I simply can't be sad around pumpkins. They make me smile.
Despite that, there is sadness today. A former student of mine committed suicide. He was found this morning. He is the second former student of mine to committed suicide this year. It is a tragedy and a horror, one that their high school does not need more of. I fear, though, that it may touch off more of the same. Our children are so adrift today. They've lost their roots in the family, the world, and in God. Pray for him, please.