Something trivial and maybe insignificant, but I was on a trip with a friend to a farm a while ago. She bought a couple of gourds and squashes, and I asked her what she was going to cook with them. She replied , “No, they’re for decoration.”
For an instant, I was confused. My mind instantly associated the gourd decor with Halloween.
But Alhamdulillah, I had a window of understanding opened, and a bit of stereotyping removed.
I went to another farm a couple of weeks later, and on leaving, they had a few pumpkins and gourds up. Signs encouraged visitors to take a free pumpkin on their way out. But the pumpkins and gourds clearly said, “Not for cooking.”
“Huh”, I thought. “I guess I’ll take them and put them out as decorations.” Not Halloween decor, but a celebration of Allah’s creation. Of His magnificent orange, and yellow and green creations. Of these smooth pumpkins, and amazingly textured gourds. Of the curves, the bumps, the melding of yellow into green, the curved into straight, the strength and the amazing beauty.
Just like I have my acorns and pine cones decorating, my flowers and my seashells, my water and my plants, I have my pumpkin and gourds. An experience for my daughters to bring in the colors of autumn, the colors of Allah’s creation.
Fatima Abdallah lives in Northern Virginia with her two daugthers and husband.