This lush, green vine popped up out of the blue a couple of weeks ago, and has been unfurling new leaves every single day since then. At first, I was perplexed by the thick shoot that pushed itself up through the mulch near the front door. I hadn’t planted anything there…but it didn’t look like any of the other weeds I’d been fighting a losing battle with. Rather than pull it out, I waited to see what would develop.

I’m so glad I waited! After a few days, I recognized the plant as the beginning of a pumpkin vine. I made some room around it and have been watching it spread along the bed. It’s now about three feet long and a foot wide. I’ve taken to calling it “The Accidental Pumpkin.”

As I mentioned, I never planted any pumpkins intentionally. This pumpkin started its journey as part of a Halloween Jack-O-Lantern that I left out in too sunny a place (I know, ick.)  It got, well, a bit squishy, and I had to sweep the remains of poor Jack into the flower bed and cover it with some mulch so that it could compost without smelling up the doorway. I forgot all about that until this pumpkin showed up, seven months later!

This whole incident got me thinking about ideas. So many of my ideas for songs or poems have been “Accidental Pumpkins” – the seeds for them were planted long before the actual product appeared. I may have observed something, overheard something, or had an idea that didn’t work for a song that same day, but later emerged in a different work.    So, just because an idea doesn’t work the first time around, doesn’t mean it can’t ever work! Just sweep it off into a pile somewhere and it may surprise you one day.

Had any Accidental Pumpkins lately? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!


P.S. Only two weeks until Camp Wannamakee starts!  Also, today is the last day to apply for my group coaching scholarship! Head on over here for details.