Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I have such wonderful memories of sitting beside the mango tree and carefully peeling each green mango to yield its sweet-sour yellow-green flesh, slicing it and dipping each slice in a dip made of fermented anchovies and vinegar. To me, outside of the inevitable heat cooking you instantly as you step out into the sun, nothing evokes summer more than the sight of fruit-laden mango trees begging to be picked. Until I was 21, we lived in a house nestled among various fruit trees. I remember two mango trees, one on the side of the house and another at the back, plus various other trees including a weird guyabano tree that did not bear any fruits the whole time we lived in that house and which the help thought was haunted. Its trunk was directly outside my bedroom window at the first floor, while the bough could be seen from my sisters’ bedroom window upstairs. The low-hanging mango tree at the side of the house was fair game, and we would often pick its fruits and wallow an afternoon away feasting on our bounty.
It is summer once again, and every day as I come in to work I am greeted by the sight of the office’s three mango trees bursting with fruits. The sight makes me smile, and reminds me of a time when all I had to decide was what to do for the day and whether that would include climbing that friendly mango tree to the inevitable scolding from our grandparents. They’re all gone now, my grandparents, that house, that tree. But I still have the brilliant memories of those lazy summer days, of sneaking out from the afternoon naps my grandfather required us to take to climb trees we were expressly forbidden from climbing, of childhood really.