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Two rebels grow closer to home

Only July, but my son's rampant pumpkin vine is racing three-fourths of the way around his yard's circumference. Around his yard, not garden. It's just a plot of scruffy grass and shady moss, but it's his, my firstborn's. The verb to race expresses relative speed in the vegetable kingdom.

One seed survived from Halloween's sunken pumpkin. He tossed it in the compost heap, along with leaves he raked and blades he mowed in his late- blooming flurry of conformity to these suburban neighborhoods he spurned through an adolescence fraught with rebellion.

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Likewise, this vine whose tendrils clutch his anchor fence - but they don't climb too high, as if they sensed their nascent fruit would swell and weigh enough to pull them down to earth.

He, too, struck out alone, raced partway round the globe, then, as if to square a circle, turned at corners and came mostly home to blossom and, in whatever patch of sun, bear his sumptuous progeny.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society