I'm sure my neighbours must think I'm insane. Every morning now, after breakfast and coffee, I rush out into my front yard to check on my pumpkin plants. Is the one promising pumpkin still there? Is it still thriving? Have any others emerged? Are they growing or have they died on the vine, tiny and yellow and sad and shriveled? Do they seem to need more water? Less water? More nurturing? Less nurturing?
In recent days, I've been rewarded by the appearance of several new pumpkins. Five at last count. The largest new addition, despite its impressive appearance in the photograph, is the size of a large egg. I've been trying to remain calm, however. Nonchalant. Recalling the earlier excitement I felt at the sight of multiple pumpkins, only to have that excitement, like those poor pumpkins themselves, wither and die on the vine. I tell myself that I will be content if only my one prized pumpkin, first and largest of the crop so far, survives into autumn.
But if I go out there one morning, and find it no longer among the living, I fear I may collapse into a weeping heap on my lawn. And then my neighbours will be absolutely certain of my insanity.