Not only am I a grumpy bugger, I’m an unapologetic grumpy bugger, and I can’t avoid a grump when I see boxes of wasted food. Yes, it’s pumpkin time again.

As a pagan, of course, I’m more than open to the time of year. Samhain is a wonderfully inspiring point on the annual race around the Sun where, traditionally, we are more closely aligned with the non-apparent worlds. At these times we can reach across the mysterious divide into the realm of the ancestors. We can commune, if not exactly communicate, with those gone on ahead of us. It’s a pleasant thought that we will one day be ancestors, and our yet unnamed offspring might give us a thought at least once a year.

squashedBut in the shops… oh, the horror. Plastic skulls and endless sugary sweets abound, with which to soil our planet and to make toothless our children. And in massive boxes, in their hundreds and thousands… pumpkins. Ok, so we make a decent pumpkin soup, and if they’re placed appropriately the go on to feed the wild animals looking for a little extra sustenance as the winter approaches. But most of them will be thrown into landfill, full of candlewax and tealights.

Food is plentiful in this country, albeit there are an increasing number who may not find access to it as easy. We squander food. Whole fields, whole farms, are set aside for growing this crop. It’s become a small industry, this deliberate waste of food. It requires warm weather for pumkins to thrive, which happily we’ve had this year, but it also requires a lot of water and irrigation systems. I dare say pesticides are involved. And significant transportation needs, at approximately 6 miles per gallon of diesel fuel for a fully laden lorry…

As we move through the thin part of the year, why not celebrate life and acknowledge death by telling your children of their ancestors. Light a fire, and have a Samhain party, or a Halloween party if you’re Christian. Eat, drink and be merry, because that’s always good. And if you do buy a pumpkin… carve it, eat the flesh in soups and pies, eat the seeds (great roasted), and set the shell somewhere the animals will find it and enjoy what’s left (our chickens, when we had them, loved pumpkins.

Ok, not so grumpy in the end. Blessings at Samhain. May you honour your ancestors as they deserve, and may we all be beloved ancestors one day (but not today!). 🙂

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