I've been off the ship now for two weeks and I'm still enjoying the slight euphoria and hightened senses that comes with release from the ocean's deprivation. Never has fall seemed so necessary and its various smells and colors so intoxicating. Many are saying that the colors are much brighter this fall because the summer was so hot. Every hour of that summer is in my hands when I heft a big healthy pumpkin. The pumpkin is a holy artifact of that summer. It is a precious concentration from the rays that fell on the viney, loamy fields each day. Its a way to connect to those long summer days that passed while I was far north, wreathed in fogs on a gray ocean on a steel ship. Each pumpkin seems as exotic and as fascinating to me as a meteorite. This past week we had a pumpkin party and we did pumpkin carving and pumpkin jousting (counter-rotating pumpkins on ropes). I carved out their flesh and made pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin pie. We drank Pumpkin Ale. We roasted pumpkin seeds. I carved a maple leaf into a pumpkin's skin.