Chrysostom is Greek for the one with the golden tongue. It runs in my family, without skipping generations. But at summer it becomes most pronounced. It’s mango season and we all have golden tongues!
Mangoes are one of the best things about summer. Being able to reach out and pluck them off the trees (or from the ground as we’ve had so much wind and rain!) is a luxury I enjoy. And all the trees have kids shinning up them or throwing stones (of which I theoretically disapprove) at them, or collecting the fallen mangoes.The wild mango, with its little fruit, is the sweetest I’ve had. You squish the fruit, bite off the top and by then the sweet mango juice is dripping down your hand. It is more fibrous than the cultivated varieties of mango though. In the villages around, all seasonal fruit is preserved for non-seasonal time. A good tradition, but one that we humans stretching to its limits by preserving and cold storing everything to the point that I can count truly ‘seasonal’ fruit on one hand. But I digress, so back to what’s traditional here. Summer brings ambo soda to the villages around BC. Manga thera, as I knew it growing up. The streets are painted a beautiful golden yellow.
Second to the mangoes are the sweet jamuns or java plums, with their astringent aftertaste. There are 4 jamun trees outside, and the ground is splattered with purple. The olive shaped variety and the plump, fat ones as well. The birds love the fruit as well, and some egrets are nesting in the trees. Their white feathers a sharp contrast to the crinkly green of the jamun leaves. Its nesting time, so their necks are streaked with brown. Here the kids play:
Johnny Johnny! Yes pappa. Eating jamuns? No, pappa. Open your mouth – ha ha ha!
So if you’re lucky this summer, you get to be a Royal Chrysostom: golden tongued from eating mangoes or royal blue from jamuns!
PS. Today the Catholic Church celebrates world communications day! How appropriate :)