I am a can of pumpkin puree and I reside in a cupboard next to my opaque and dehydrated friend, milk. As a young squash, time spent in the pumpkin patch was soft and unhurried. My days were composed of sounds overlapping in harmony. I felt the sleepy grass resting beneath me. The farmer’s dog, Buddy, once buried his wet nose into the cool, receptive earth and a ladybug latched on and laughed. My undisturbed heart was light and the honeycomb sun took my mind on many whistling adventures. My spirit became full of fairytales and I dreamt of the day when I would be harvested and turned into a golden carriage or carved by a young child into something silly or beautiful. My innocent flesh was very tender and passing rabbits often warned that I might become too soft and rot.
I remember the day that I was stripped of my natural nakedness and processed. Reason invaded like a legion of swarming ants and shrewdness displaced the sympathetic. It was time to grow up. My whimsical imagination and outlandish dreams were stifled. It seemed strange that I had been created one way only to be forced to transform into another. I did not want to bid my baby pumpkin seeds farewell and I battled the reality that I would soon be baked and practically liquefied. Food mills were frightening, but I was nevertheless on my way to becoming an inert space filler, another ingredient, transmuted into a labeled resource that would benefit the entire baking community. Soon after my metamorphosis, I was shipped off to a grocery store in hopes that I might be sold. A sticker which read “Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin” was branded upon my new tin home. However, I did not feel "100% pure". I felt mutilated and hideous... and who on earth was Libby? I encountered a flood of commercialization and was soon introduced to the collective media. I was paraded around in front of cameras and soon was exposed to everyone on television and my picture was placed in magazines.
I missed my skin and how it felt and reacted to the wind. I once heard droplets of melodious water falling from the sky. I think those droplets were created to fall and replenish the earth. Mama orangutans aren't made a commodity without their consent, except in zoos. I felt as though I was meant to dwell in a pumpkin patch to bring children joy when leaves change their colors. I have been processed and this cannot be undone, but I would prefer to be emptied and baked into a pumpkin pie rather than to sit on this shelf idly. Maybe then I could then hear the giggle of a child as he places a whipped cream hat on my head and lets me skydive from his fork on to his shirt. I am a pumpkin, no matter my present form, however, I long to be one that is relational rather than merely marketed.