At about this time last year, I was walking along Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn and came across the most fantastic sight. Next to a Bank of America was an open lot that was converted into a nursery for the Spring and Summer. Hanging from a canopy of vines strewn across the outdoor space were giant green gourds slowly sinking to the ground from the weight of their full bounty. I had never seen gourds like these before: green, smooth, and pear-shaped, so different from the variety of orange and yellow-hued ones more commonly found during our Fall season. Apparently, the owner of this nursery (attached to the Trilok Arts Center) had come across these gourd seeds during a recent trip to Italy and planted them during the summer with no idea what to expect.
It was such an unexpected thrill to come across these gems hidden in a secret garden, that I decided to go look for them again this fall. When I got there, I found myself feeling disappointed by the gourds, which weren’t as huge and fantastical as the year before. I kept looking through the plants in hope that there would be one giant gourd I had yet to find but ended up leaving without finding the sought-after treasure. A sad fact lightened when I realized I had almost missed something else: the fact that what was once a secret discovery was now an annual event I could look forward to. The gourds weren’t the same as when I first found them, but each tree doesn’t change its colors in the same pattern every fall, and the pumpkins or apples that are picked won’t look, feel, smell, or taste the same as the year before.
Just like when the gardener planted the gourd seeds, he had no idea of what he would find. The joy from exploration is seeing the beauty in whatever you find. Oh, what wonders can grow in unexpected places.
For more on Beauty and Bounty in October, check out the following: