Does anyone remember Linus and his sincere pumpkin patch from A Charlie Brown Halloween? It also showed up in the Peanuts strip sometimes.
I loved Peanuts, especially Snoopy’s antics, and the older I get the more I like Linus. He’s so thoughtful, and, well, sincere. He’s what I think of when I think of the word sincere, as a matter of fact.
For anyone who didn’t watch the show or read the old comic, Linus was a little boy who always walked around with his ratty old security blanket. He had this personal myth that on Halloween night, The Great Pumpkin would rise out of the sincerest pumpkin patch around and bring candy to all the children.
My question is, how do you measure sincerity in a pumpkin patch? Is it the quality of the soil, the love of the gardener, the care by which the pumpkins are turned, the size and ripeness of the fruit? If I had a pumpkin patch, I think mine might be very sincere. I’m a little to old to sit all night waiting in it, but I can still recall the chidlike wonder of hoping for something that was completely impossible.
As I think of Linus and his blanket, his quiet belief in things impossible, and his massive knowledge of classic literature, I feel myself grow a little gentler, more patient, and more willing to understand others.
I find that thinking about the question is more valuable than finding the answer.
Photo by Lenore Plassman