I consider how lush the vine was, how vibrant, how boisterous with shouting yellow blossoms and leaves the size of heads. I consider how it overtook the yard, dominating and persistent, growing faster than we could manage.
And then, I note the shriveling away of all that display. I note what remains, firm and bright and enduring.
In a pumpkin patch, everything falls away eventually but the pumpkins themselves. They prove the health of the vine. I consider evaluating the fruit of any endeavor. No matter how glamorous, large, or expansive work becomes, what matters is lasting fruit.