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When I was a kid, the yearly calendar was a blur. I couldn’t predict when Christmas came, nor when mango season fell. Christmas arrived when my mom set out the plastic stable and snowman poster, and mango season was here when plates of fleshy ripe mangos appeared at our dinner table. My mom, all smiles, would point out her find and we would contemplate the fruit that were sometimes as long as my forearm.
A small orchard bordered our yard in town, a food source to which we’d given more thought to if we didn’t already have plenty to eat from the local open-air markets. As it was, we had a regular supply of fresh pork, chicken, and produce that made all the work of harvesting and preparing fruit unnecessary. Besides, the variety of mango from the trees that lined each side of our yard was not great for eating. When green, they were slightly sweet, meaning they weren’t the kind for slicing thin and plunging into fish sauce. I don’t remember them ripe, but if they had been as succulent as the market harvest during mango season, we would surely have gorged on them for weeks. The ones we brought from town, golden yellow and giving off a scent like warm honey, were the capstone to our evening meals.