With each skin cream treatment, the pink blemish on the side of my face appeared to sizzle like eggs frying in bacon grease. The center of the blemish turned brown, rimmed in swollen auburn and orange rings. The blemish was a form of skin cancer and was being treated with cream, instead of surgical removal. The removal process involved five days of treatments for six weeks. Halfway through the regimen, what was a tolerable light pink blemish had become a hideous fried scab the size of a cigar burn.
I consider myself healthier than average and take care of what I’ve been given, but it seemed to be vain to be focused on physical appearances that morning. As I prepared to make my way out the door, I was not my typical life-coach self. I was feeling ugly and self-conscious and my hair had been styled to hide my swollen face.
Feeling sorry for myself, I inched through the morning and avoided as many people as possible.
At lunch, I took a hike along a beautiful nature trail and found a bench over-looking the city. I sat and let the hot tears of shame come. Between sobs, I pleaded with the universe to give me a sign and help me make sense of my life.
When I had exhausted the tears and gathered my emotions, I walked with my head-down and crunched the fall leaves beneath my feet. On the path a few feet away, I noticed an oak leaf glimmering with the stunning colors of autumn — burnt orange, auburn and brown.
As I admired the rich colors and breathed in the crisp air, it occurred to me the colors in the leaf were similar to the patch on my face and I began to cry again. This time the tears cleansed and helped me realize that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. I carried the leaf to the end of the path and released it to the wind as I thanked it for its message.
Later that evening as I finished up dinner dishes, I got a call from a client who owned 40 acres of land north of town. His love of the land and gardening led him to plant strawberries, rows of sweet corn, melons, cucumbers and pumpkins.
This client has become a dear friend and had kept my son and I stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables all summer; including more sweet corn than a family can eat in a year. We were so blessed by the abundance coming from his generous and prosperous green thumb.
This call was to inform me he had another surprise for us and asked if he could drop it off at our house.
Moments later he showed up and handed me a mammoth 50 lb. plus pumpkin with an over-sized handle. The pumpkin seeds, he said, were genetically engineered to produce an extra large stem to hold the weight of the pumpkin. He thought this pumpkin would be good for Cameron.
Then he handed over one of the most unusual and special gifts I’ve ever been privileged to receive. It was a 30 lb. pumpkin that had unusual markings in the skin that read “Samantha, Happy Halloween!” When I asked how “the pumpkin grew those words,” he told me the following story:
“Before I planted the seeds in April, I blessed them. In June when the pumpkins turned green, I took a sharp nail and carved gently into the skin of the pumpkin. As the pumpkin continued to grow, it healed itself and scabbed over, leaving a small reminder of the wound sustained earlier in the season. The scab is a sign of the pumpkin’s endurance and strength.”
As he finished his story, I stood in awed silence for the timing of the pumpkin delivery and the magnificence of this marvelous gift. The tears that came for the third time that day were now healing tears of gratitude.
My client and friend had scratched the skin of that pumpkin months ago to produce a magical pumpkin for the Halloween season. He would have had no idea back in June that my skin would be wounded and scabbing in much the same way that day.
This gift was more than a remarkable pumpkin, it was a miracle and the sign I needed to renew my trust and faith in the universe.
My skin, ego and scars were no longer the focus of my day. My attitude instantly turned to Powerful Perspectives of awareness, appreciation and love of a particular pumpkin and precious act of a friend.
Each fall when the pumpkins arrive, I stop and give thanks for the special gift of friendship — and the power of signs and miracles.
When we look for miracles, they find us and make us aware of their power to heal and bring us to a better place.
What may be an ordinary pumpkin, becomes extraordinary in an instant.