I spent countless summer afternoons on top of our backyard guava tree, coddled up in a comfortable crook in the branches–a book in one hand, and munching whatever guava I could reach. The guava tree was medium-sized and lithe, with cool smooth bark and a nice minty smell. It overlooked a half-size basketball court and many court games were disturbed by fruit sailing (hurled) from the treetop. It was a prolific fruit bearing tree, and my brother and I, and the rest of the neighborhood gang, were never disappointed whenever we looked for something to munch.
As we grew up and summers were spent more indoors, the tree bore fruit less frequently. I suppose it limited production inasmuch as its remaining customers were few now; just the bats and the birds who lived in our backyard. The tree’s branches were trimmed after many big storms and its now just a stump with a few reedy branches that will not support a young child. Such is the way of Puff the Magic Dragon and of childhood fruit trees.
Last weekend, T and M and I were killing time under the tree (waiting for the beef bourguignon to cook, but that’s another story) and discovered that there were still many fruits. I was ecstatic and polished off a few quickly, rubbing the freshly picked fruit on my shorts to clean it just like the old days. I like it unripe– I love the sour, tangy taste of the fruit and the extra crunch of the green skin and the white compact seeds that get in between your teeth. It’s a bite of summer.