• W. Stendahl

Mayor's Sunday Séance for July 2022 - Pumpkin Planting

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Mayor's Sunday Séance for July 2022 - Pumpkin Planting

Greetings and Condolences, Dearest Cemetery Dwellers of Sundown,

When I was a boy, several hundred years ago, I remember fondly of my mother rejoicing upon the dawning of each July. For though the month was so very hot and claimed its stake at the very heart of summer (for this was before Sundown's curse), my mother danced and leaped upon the green earth in celebration of what she called the beginning of "The Pumpkin Harvest". Yes, July marked the time of pumpkin planting!

My mother was the grandest of granny witches in these parts, you see, and there was something in her spine that would tingle and stand straight up when mother earth wiggled and shook the soil to prepare for the greatest of vegetables, the grandest of gourds - the Pumpkin (or how we call it here in Sundown - PumpKING)! This readying would inevitably occur sometime in July, but what day in this muggiest of months varied from year to year, depending on Mr. Frost, Old Man Winter, and Mother Earth's scheduled decisions of forecasted weather.

But when that day was finally declared, my mother could be found humming a gloriously ghostly tune while she gathered hidden pockets of seeds from her wooden slot drawers of curiosity cupboards. She would then call my name upon the summer breezes, who would startle and saunter their way through the sizzling simmers of sunlight's rays to find me wandering by a frog-laced pond or sunbathing my bones by a secret swimming hole or climbing an Ash Tree with fingernails full of tree skin and mud baths. There, once found among childhood summer, the prickly wind would whisper into my ear the echoes of my mother's dearest and softest voice, making me instantly stop what I was doing, momentarily look in her general direction, then sprint with all the energy a boy could muster to reach her arms in the soonest possible manner.

Once arriving, my mother would reveal the handfuls of seeds sneaking in her apron pockets like young kangaroo eyes in their mother's pouch. Filling up my hands with the smooth, pale white eyes, I would go to the garden's soil, put my small fingers in the dark brown earth, scoop a small mound to the side, place four droplets of hope in the socket, cover them with a hand pat or two, then move to the next space of soon-to-be smiling pumpkins. I would smile in response each day while in anticipation of their smiles that would glow in three months time, watching green blossoms expand and evolve rain drops into firm green skins, which; as Mr. Frost approached closer in the month of August, breathed heaving in September, and stampeded in October; he would transform greens and yellows into oranges and rust, leaving just a reminder of July moments in each flexible handled called a stem.

Yes, these are the Julys of my younger years. And though now we here in Sundown experience new "Pumpkin Harvests" each week upon our great, eternal resets, I find myself at times standing straight with a tingling spine, knowing it is time for you (Yes, You!) to find those hidden sleeves of seeds, venture to your mother earth, and plant with smiles aglow the greatest of gourds - the PumpKING!

Plant one for me as well, won't you, dearest child of the October night?

Goodnight to all of you, no matter where you are!

Signed Sincerely,

Lord W. Stendahl

Mayor of Sundown

Be safe. Be aware. And Beware!!!

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