How can a mango tree make me so happy?

Illustration by Rey Rivera

There are actually four of them in our home now — three by the gate, and one at the back, by the pool but off to one side. It’s summertime, and so the trees are expectedly prolific. They bear such delicious fruit, of the carabao and Indian varieties. I see the one located at the back more than the ones out front. It is my favorite. The branches jut out gently, gracefully, to form a wide umbrella of sorts, like arms wide open that children can run into for a big hug.

We’ve suspended round capiz lamps in two different sizes on different levels of the branches. At night, as we all sit right under the tree, on sturdy stainless steel chairs we’ve had since Richard and I were newlyweds, around a table covered with pretty cloth, the capiz lamps all lit up like many little moons, a soft summer night’s breeze makes us all happy. To be alive. To be together. To be present in the here and now.

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