I start watching the mango trees in April when mango season is almost upon us. They say no one starves in mango season. I sit daily and watch the mangos grow. Everywhere you look the trees are bountiful, laden with mangos about to drop. When they come we will have mango juice, mango jam and eat mangos as we find them. You can shake a tree and down they fall. We peel them with our teeth and tuck in – mango juice dripping down our chin, strings caught in our teeth.
In early May the rain starts. Heavy thundering downpours that render us housebound. We watch it from the doorway and everyone enthuses that it’s for the mangos, it makes them grow bigger and more juicy. It’s mango rain.
Late May I know the season has arrived when a neighbourhood kid arrives mango in hand. Eleanor starts bringing at least one a day back from playing with friends. We stop by a neighbour’s house to say hello and leave with our skirts bulging under the weight of mangos from the garden. We pass a tree chopped back from someone’s garden, the rotting fruit scattered across the road. Suddenly the smell of mango is everywhere.
The price in the market drops dramatically. The variety changes – big ones, little ones, oval yellow ones. Everyone can be found with a mango.
With the mango comes the flies. They start in April, by May their numbers have doubled, by June when the fruit gets really ripe they are more of a pest than I care to mention. The opening of a mango brings an onslaught of the fly to the point I almost can’t face eating them. But the fresh, juicy, sweet taste is delightful.
I will miss the beautiful trees, weighed down under the weight of their gold. For soon they will be bare.
Watching the mango trees | clippedwingsflying