I was a young girl. It was a hot day. My dad, in his bathing suit, went outside with the fruit cutter to slice some mangos off the tree. I followed him, like I often would, to take the fruit out of the red bag it would drop into once he cut it off the tree and lowered the pole for me. It was a sort of ritual we had, to collect the ripe fruit from the tree. I don’t remember anyone else in the family using that pole but him. And I haven’t been able to find a cutter similar to the one he used.
I was 16 years old. My brother was home from college with some friends, swimming in the pool. I thought one of them was really cute so I walked outside (in my most alluring manner) to pick a mango from the tree which was behind the pool, in the hope that he would notice me. He did see me and we got into a conversation about the fruit. He had never eaten a mango and asked me if you ate the peel. I thought that was hysterical that he didn’t know how to eat a mango.
I was in my 30’s, living in a townhouse, with no fruit trees. My grandmother Celia had a huge mango tree in her back yard. Those mangos were particularly tasty. When she was in the nursing center I mentioned to my mom that I was going over to Grandma’s house to pick some mangos. My mom was so worried that I was going to get electrocuted by hitting the fruit picker against the overhead electrical wires that she secretly hired a gardener to go pick all the fruit off Grandma’s tree. When I got to the house there were 2 large receptacles brimming with colorful mangos in the back yard waiting for me.
There’s something special about fresh fruit…. you hold it, taste it, smell it…. and you remember particular times associated with that fruit. It could be a conscious or subconscious memory that makes you feel good. Perhaps eating cold watermelon on a hot day or the crunching sound of biting into an apple triggers recollections…
R.I.P. Dad and Grandma. I have my own trees now. I wish you could taste how good the mangos are.