Last summer was our first with mango and avocado trees in the backyard. “Oh, how lucky we are,” we said as lavish flowers became dainty ball bearings, then dime-sized fruit, then golf balls and tennis balls in the dozens and dozens. Then the tennis balls ballooned and the trees silently groaned. They are mothers, those trees, with keiki growing so fast that you could never get to Goodwill often enough to keep them in sneakers.
The mango tree in the yard adjoining ours shelters a small shed with a tin roof. One day we heard what sounded like a gunshot. Nobody shoots anybody anymore in Palolo, so we were puzzled rather than scared. Later in our backyard we heard it again, 20 feet away. BAM! A mango dive-bombed the tin roof. This went on for weeks, day and night. It will go on for weeks this summer, too. BAM! BAM! BAM!
If you need mangoes and avocados this summer, call me. I’ll trade you for earplugs.
If it’s Kamehameha Day, it’s summer. Nearly all the kids are out of school. Plumeria crowd tree limbs like eager young men sporting boutonnieres at the senior prom, minus the eager young men. Mangoes are MMA-fist-sized, threatening to rain. The southern swell sees more surfers than waves at Ala Moana Bowls.
Some think it’s summer here all the time, but it’s not. Summer is hotter, and hotter every year. Summer is languid, days and nights to take a deep breath and start something new. If you like to be in the water at dawn, you get up earlier. If you like a sunset cocktail, you toast a little later.
In early summer we look back at early summers past, season-shaping days from childhood. Well-oiled baseball gloves ready to stretch. Tan lines still invisible, but not for long. Lawn mowers rumbling on the school yard during finals. Summer songs and summer loves.
Next summer, your memories will be of this summer, these days in Hawaii. Make them the best they can be!