Marigolds are the new pumpkin
Walking back from the grocery store I saw pumpkins for sale. The day was crisp and it seemed like the perfect time to buy a pumpkin and place it on my porch until it's time to carve it into a jack-o-lantern.
Suddenly this distinct voice rose up in me and firmly said, NO. Nothing against pumpkins; they are perfectly worthy of attention and a fine symbol of the season. But I won't buy one just yet.
Instead, I continue to enjoy and celebrate the marigolds in their final days. I'm harvesting everyday now and I swear they repeatedly bloom new flowers faster than I can pluck them off.
Because they're so bountiful I've decided marigolds are as perfect as a pumpkin to symbolize Halloween and the the season in general. They're as orange as a pumpkin and marigolds even have a cultural and historical association with death and the macabre.
For instance, marigolds are the official flower of Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexican culture and get fashioned into elaborate displays on altars and graves. In some villages, people leave a trail of marigolds from their front door to their loved ones grave so the dead may easily find their way back home again to feast and party and be guests of honour in a two-day celebration. It's believed marigolds' pungent aroma and brilliant colours are enough to draw the dead back to earth for the yearly reunion.
I might forgo the Jack-o-lantern this year and instead fashion something in the spirit of this amazing effort: Photographed by Gregory Bull for AP Photo.
Not as large as this one, of course, but maybe something smaller. As a centerpiece for the table.