The minute I saw him incubating in the garden, I knew I had to bring him to life. What I didn’t know is that this little guy was harboring his own secret…just like me.
What began as a regular zucchini start grew into this monster and produced massive fruit. A similar start was elsewhere in the garden and produced regular-sized fruit. In a way, we are kindred spirits – this zucchini and I. My secret is living with an immune system that works way overboard, much to my dismay and overall health. I know generally what is going on with me, but what in the world was happening here?
I don’t use chemicals or pesticides (and have plenty of slugs to prove it). It had more sun and probably less water than my other plants. I grew and planted all of these starts at the same time from the same seed packet. What caused this plant to become so over zealous…and, well, beautiful? (The one on the far right is the one harboring the secret – have you guessed what it is yet?)
I found myself drawn to this plant not only for the amount of zucchini I could cook up all at once, but because of my mounting curiosity trying to figure out what happened.
I was a little happy to discover at a local farmer’s market that I wasn’t dealing with a freak – I had no idea zucchini could ever get that big without rotting. I found a huge bin full of them and, although I already knew that they tasted just the same as the little ones, I was happy to learn that a zucchini isn’t a zucchini by any other name. Just as health, illness, individuality, wealth, intelligence, happiness or any other measurement in this world is more of a spectrum that a true state, how wonderful it is to stumble upon something so unique and offering a little insight into how much more there is to know about things. (Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini with Cheddar…I gotta have my cheese)
If you thought you were going to escape yet another metaphor about health, then you were mistaken. These surprises and lessons are everywhere, if we pay attention. They don’t always have to include a moral, but when things feel so out-of-control for us and we dig our heels in to wonder “Why” we have to be going through or living with something when so many others aren’t, finding the beauty or specialness in our circumstances help us. The key words are how these surprises help us. We need to give ourselves some slack and recognize that we are being who we are and are the little giants who are tough enough to take it. And, on those days we aren’t up to snuff, that doesn’t mean we fail. We are simply back to being ‘normal’ human beings.
So, for those of you familiar with Larry the Cucumber, of Veggie Tales fame , I dedicate my contribution for this scary Halloween. Although you may be “shocked and slightly embarrassed at the sight of Larry in a towel,” the true scary part is that we can be ghouls to ourselves for no good reason. (How quickly time has gone by for my little ones who loved these characters. The picture will link to a song they sung day in and day out, which still brings a smile to their faces -a very silly song, so beware.)
What, you may be wondering, was the secret hidden within this guy? Well, there was more to him than anyone could’ve imagined. He was only part zucchini. I bet there’s a little bit of something great within you, too.