Jack-o-lanterns

I’ve recently been introduced to the music of Peter Mayer. One song from his Million Year Mind album is John’s Garden. It’s an allegory of life written about a fictitious conversation in a pumpkin patch.

Farmer John wandered back
And when he reached the pumpkin patch, began to speak
He said “the weather’s getting colder
Summer’s over and it’s almost Halloween
That’s the day, the reason you were raised
When everything about your life will change

You will have eyes to see, and for that night, you’ll be
A bright lamp burning in the darkness
But remember that candle shines for only the briefest time
In a jack-o-lantern’s heart”

The pumpkins held a meeting then
Some were very apprehensive and afraid
“Could this really happen to us?
What could be the meaning?” is what they were saying
“This is home, it’s all we’ve ever known”
Then one bold, outspoken pumpkin spoke

He said
“I don’t need eyes to see, it sounds like a lie to me
I like it just fine here in John’s garden
And remember that candle shines for only the briefest time
In a jack-o-lantern’s heart”

There is much to ask and to ponder in the pumpkin patch
When imposing old October shows up at last

Then a pumpkin from the farther end
Who had been silent up till then
Over the commotion, said
“What would you rather have my friends
A chance to shine, or die here on the vine?
The better way seems very plain to me

You will have eyes to see, and for that night, you’ll be
A bright lamp burning in the darkness
And maybe that candle shines for only the briefest time
In a jack-o-lantern’s heart
Oh, but one goblin’s smile should make it all well worth while
You know you might even see the starlight
And knowing that time is brief, makes it that much more sweet
When you have a jack-o-lantern’s heart”

(copyright 1999 by Peter Mayer)

As I listen to this song I think of how many of us seem content and comfortable to live our lives just dying on the vine instead of taking the chance to shine even for a brief moment. If we’re willing to cut the ties of our comfort zones to take a chance to shine with new light it will be worthwhile.

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