Pumpkin Tree Prayer

On Saturday mornings the open-air Eastern Market in downtown Detroit introduces me to some wacky plants and vegetables . Last year I met my first Romanesco.

Romanesco tastes like a sweet, nutty cauliflower. With its interesting logarithmic spirals and fractal pattern, it looks exactly like the plant-life I imagined on Perelanda, the planet of C. S. Lewis‘s imaginative sci-fi Space Trilogy. In a beautiful hymn called Bring Many Names, Brian Wren describes the God who creates such a whimsical, edible, and mathematical masterpiece, the God who is:

“working night and day,
planning all the wonders of creation,
setting each equation, genius at play.”

This year’s Eastern Market surprise was a pumpkin tree. Bearing a menagerie of colorful little pumpkin like-fruits, the tree almost looks fake. It, too, could have come from another planet. “You can eat those little pumpkins,” said the woman who sold me several branches. “They’re related to the eggplant.” I haven’t been brave enough to whip out the olive oil and garlic, but the pumpkin tree made a terrific seasonal decoration. It also inspired a prayer drawing.