Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

Gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream cheese icing.
A new gluten-free dairy-free pumpkin cupcake recipe for Fall.

Pumpkin Cupcake Season

Before I get to my pumpkin cupcake recipe, I need to wander off a bit. Just briefly. Because it's who I am. A person who wanders. Ponders. Finds solace in books. I've been like this since girlhood. Curious. Serious. No good at catching balls. Or dressing dolls. I am beyond inept with hair. And eyeliner. Nail polish. I get anxious and non-verbal if I have to wear anything that isn't a pair of jeans.

It might be because I'm a child of The Sixties, that starstruck Age of Aquarius, when kindred souls united for peace, beauty, and rock and roll. As Hunter S. Thompson wrote, "You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right," and there was that "...sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave."

I've been remembering the beautiful wave lately. The idealism. The hope. The belief that there is more to life than collapsing in front of the television and microwaving hot dogs. The belief that beauty- as Steve Jobs believed- is important, has value. That we are deeply interconnected. That life on Earth is precious- from the house sparrow to the living sea. That we are part of a vast and mysterious collective- not merely of our absurd egos (who natter inside our heads and squander our attention on drama, conflict, acquisition and the need to control)- but of a newly unfolding awareness of astonishing inner space and outer space. Infinity in every direction. The Universe is far more capacious than we ever dreamed. Perhaps even multi-dimensional. A Multiverse.

Which begs the question.

Who am I? Really. I know I am not the car I drive or the laundry detergent I use. I know I am not what I identify with. I am not what I embrace- or reject. Though for years I thought so. I believed my opinions created a self. Made me Me. Now that I am old enough to have lived through countless opinion reversals, I realize opinions are temporary.

And not defining.

Just as I am not my baby teeth. Or my once lactating voluptuousness. Or my sprouting silver hair. Or what music I listen to. Or what jeans I outgrow. I am not even the woman baking pumpkin cupcakes for her readers. Or am I?

Well, maybe I am. Just a little. But wait. Doesn't that make me the sum of what I do? I bake therefore I am? I am trying lately not to be so much of a human doing. And more of a human being.

It's not as easy as one might think.

And therein lies the trouble. The whole thinking thing. Our brain. Our wired hardware. It disconnects us. It addicts us. It overrides the heart and soul of what is really going on. The being we really are. Beneath the seductive and glossy surface of things. The spark that burns from the greater whole.

I see that spark in you. In your words and comments. In your avatar's eyes.

And that spark?

It's why I made you cupcakes.