She stopped.

It was time to take the pumpkin out of the pot and eat it.

In the final analysis that was what solved these big questions in life.

You could think and think and get nowhere, but you still had to eat your pumpkin.

That brought you back down to earth.

That gave you a reason for going on.

Pumpkin.

I’m sure this seems like a really obscure passage to quote and blog on. Especially coming from someone who really enjoy most squash/gourd type things, but steers very, very clear of pumpkin based things!  So much so that I’ve never even managed to force down a bite of pumpkin pie.

Mid-way through the first book, titled, as the series is, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, the main character Mma (Precious) Ramotswe is reflecting on something following the interactions of a case and she is very preoccupied and heavy-hearted. That’s pretty much how I’d characterize myself of late.

There has been a lot going on the last few months. Much of it heavy, much of it cloaked in uncertainty, and much of it has had to remain unspoken. Weightier undertones have admittedly prevailed, and it’s been a season of big questions.

Many aspects of what’s been going on the last few months, and is coming the next few months, is out of my hands.

Well, I guess I should amend that.

They always are out of my hands – because they are in God’s hands.

That said, there are certainly times when our ability to move forward or the things we are responding to are more or less dependent on others, and that’s much of what I’m finding in this particular season, to an extent that has never been the case for me before.

In spite of that, and because so many things are interconnected, there have been many nights my already prevalent sleep issues are only compounded by the fact that I “can think and think and get nowhere” – including to sleep!

Thus I was stuck by Mme Ramotswe’s comments above.

She had been thinking and thinking, which was getting her nowhere, when she found herself interrupted by the pumpkin boiling in a pot on the stove suddenly finishing.

That cycle of endless thinking – a bit like a hamster running on a wheel in his cage – inevitably gets interrupted by the necessities of life.

These necessities, sometimes unfortunately and sometimes fortunately, don’t stop and can’t be put on hold just because there is a lot going on and there are big questions to try to answer or because there is much thinking to do.

There are days I find myself incredibly frustrated that the other aspects of life can’t be put on hold so I can deal with the big things, or days that I wish they could be put on hold because my brain’s on overload and even just making silly little decisions about the daily parts of life seems to require thought and braincells I don’t have left at the moment.

On the other hand, sometimes the mundane things or necessities not being able to be put on hold really can be a gift – especially if, like I can at times, you tend towards being naturally more introspective than not. When things are huge and wholly overwhelming, it’s those little things that force you to keep on going because they don’t stop for the big stuff.

So I’m grateful for pumpkin – or maybe I should just substitute in chocolate cake…or granola – being done.  That’s much more up my line of taste preferences!

Because it’s the little things in life – like the oven timer for your latest recipe going off – that remind you that you can’t neglect your responsibilities just because there are big questions to get answers to, problems to solve, thinking to do, and huge things to deal with.

It’s the little things in life that bring you back down to earth – back to reality.

And it’s the little things in life that keep you going on, even when you are most overwhelmed.

I’m definitely at the point of being overwhelmed, so I’m trying to remember the little necessities that need to get done.  PICC fluids being run, labs being drawn, appointments being made – because that will help keep me going on.

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