Inay’s Mango Tree

Blog, Photography, Uncategorized

C95A0700 My grandmother buried a seed into the ground about fifteen years ago.

She told me to watch the Indian mango tree grow. She said it would grow like the Gumamela on the side of the road.

But it took long.

So long that Inay never got to see the mango tree grow at all. C95A0616

For many summers we were happy that the tree was alive.

C95A0603I remember once, seeing a ball- formed by many leaves combined, hanging from the tree. I was afraid because I knew, inside the ball was a country of red ants, that was likely to fall when a gust of wind, strong enough to cut the ball loose, passes by.C95A0709

It was Inay’s tree.

C95A0809Over time, we forgot about the tree.C95A0708

It was just there. Growing, allowing storms to pass and watching summer suns glow.

C95A0652A few summers ago, Ate Asel hauled a bucket of mangoes to the kitchen.
“Marami pa yan!” (There is more!) she said.
C95A0633 C95A0653

We were very happy.

C95A0795It was Inay’s tree! We almost forgot that it was an Indian Mango tree but there it was!C95A0441“Masisira na yung manga!” (The mangoes will start to go bad!)

We worried.

C95A0806 For so long we waited for the tree to grow, and to bear fruit so much so that we forgot we were waiting. Now, here they are. Years of waiting, bearing fruit, certain that the time has come. But what do we do with the mangoes? Certainly we could not eat them all!

C95A0821So we gave most of the mangoes away.

The last bucket of mangoes left were cut.

“Gawin nating chutney!” (Let’s make them into chutney!) my mother said.
“Paano? Marunong ba tayong gumawa ng chutney?” (How? Do we know how to make chutney?) I asked.C95A0495But my mother, the woman that she is, made chutney out of the remaining mangoes.

And for a few weeks after the last mango fell from the tree for that summer, I ate chutney, with every single dish I ate.
C95A0824That was the only time we made chutney out of the mangoes.

I wonder if the tree bore tons of mangoes this summer, if they made chutney this year, I wonder — along with all the other things I wonder about, when I wonder about home.

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