tropical, childhood memories
|As little changes from season to season in the tropics, life takes it's turn through the ebb and flow of the tides. Being there are and were the best of times. Island summers that border the equator. That golden white orb baking everything, then basting in a steamy aftrnoon's sweat.
Gentle trade winds arrive on the skirts of the moon. Light rains tinkle on tin roofs, beckoning and lulling My island off to sleep.
Peering through mosquito nets and windows without glass toward my favorite spot...anywhere. Each night it is the last thing I think before I dream. Every morning before my eyelids flutter open, my smile is full, already I can smell the riper ones.
I slip out from under the net, gingerly, avoiding various exotic creepy crawlers who nest just above my head while I snooze.
I don my little leather sandles and make my way through that glassless window. Really, nothing more than a square cut in the wall of concrete.
I tip toe through some thirty or so feet. I'm eyeing the barely civilized carpet of vegetation for any plump or just fallen, not over ripe, unbruised, and colorful treat.I hate to see them go to waste, finding at least one or two each day I land them gentley in my trusty towel/sac.
My attention returns to the decision at hand. Should I use a big stick to knock them from the tree? Or should I be the happy monkey swinging joyfully from limb to limb?
Well, six years old, with nothing anymore important to do, the happy little mammel me opted to be monkey. The winner! I begin to climb MY MANGO TREE, reaching greedily I reguarded, and judged each Mango I could see, seperately. Choosing and reaching greedily, though I know to only take two or three, each day.
Each breath I take in my tree-fruit factory over fills my being and my spirit, and makes my whole world, my life, so sweet! I swear, my soul shivers in delight! I amble to the ground and add more bootie to me cache.
I wander around to the front of the house with its heavy oaken door, hungry now for breakfast.
Already someone has been to town and back 2 for us 2 dozen french sticks for the family store a short walk up the road.
The aroma in the house was like lovely. My nose leads me to the coffee prepared every day in the kitchen, the center and soul of our house, where plans take shape for the day.That smell strong and sweet, homemade (old style) sieved through cheese cloth to catch the grinds. Fresh coffee and bread. Blonde and sweet, and warm and soft. dangling legs, sipping and chewing, and considering which of my mangos were ripe, ready, and which was best to eat, and which would spend a day or two on the window's sill, there untouched until perfectly ripe.
I choose the best one everyday. I hold the fruit to my nose and, yum that's the one. Each fruit is distinct and unique one from the other, green and yellow, or purple or orange, and red too, a quiet colorful riot.
Not unlike me from the tree, Auntie plucks it from my mini hands and makes quick work of peel and dice, or other days she may just slice. She is always stingy with her smiles, seriously reminding me of the serpant in my mango garden. Never eat too close to the pit or skin,remember you will get a rash around your lips and chin. I catch her smiling as she wipes at my face and hands of that juicy sticky mango goo. She knows I love her mango tree. Seriously, it was her tree for true, and she knows I'm wildly possessed, and obssessed.
Later, hours before I fly away, She hugs me tight. I can see she's trying to hold her tears, just like me. She releases me and whispers as she pushes herself away. "Come again next summer my lovely one, only you can care so well for your MANGO TREE. I and the tree will watch for your return upon the rising Summer suns. Listening for your voice upon the gentle crossing breezes which rise up many evenings.
Light rains on tin roofs, remain to call you back to your tropic island home, your ancestral origin.
Come home to Puerto Rico!
As I do whenever I can.