Good news! I reached my 10,000 words goal for July. I want to thank you for urging me on. Whether it’s a public comment on this blog or Facebook, a private comment or a quick word just mentioning that you got something out of my writing, you make this journey worthwhile. Your thoughts matter to me!

I thought it would be perfect to post this excerpt about turning 21 since this is the week of my 44th birthday. Enjoy!

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Turning 21

The morning of my 21st birthday I woke up and looked out the sliding glass door that served as one of the walls of my room. Outside on the bench sat a mango.

It’s a mango from God! I thought. I slid open the door and held it in my hand.

The green fruit blushed with red on one of its curved sides. It gave ever so slightly as I pressed it. I knew it would be ripe and sweet.

In my first moments of being 21, I was happy.

mangoI came to mangoes when I came to Santa Cruz. The view of my first mango at age 19 seemed unremarkable. Warren handed me the fruit. I held the green bulbous thing with a questioning look.

“It’s a mango,” he said. “Have you ever had one before?”

I shook my head no. Warren took the mango back and brought it into his kitchen. On the tile counter, he cut off one side of it and handed it back to me.

“Eat the yellow part.”

I bit in. The rich juice tasted of islands and sunshine. It covered my tongue with tangy sweetness, like an apricot and pineapple mixed together.

“Do you like it?”

“I think this is my new favorite fruit!”

From then on, I kept an eye out for mangoes in the market. In May, they dropped down to less than a dollar a mango and I gorged myself.

Warren said that you can’t waste a mango. You have to eat all the flesh. His family had a house in Jamaica with a mango tree.

“Even if all the mangoes on your tree ripen at the same time, you can’t waste it.”

I called the inner seed the bone and chewed all the fruit off until it was stripped of any goodness and left with frayed ends. The fibers stuck in my teeth. A mango made me appreciate floss.

There are some foods that are happy foods for me. I don’t remember any sad times eating them. Ice cream, popcorn and mangoes.

Later in the day on my 21st birthday, I found out Warren had left the mango for me, early in the morning before sunrise. I still believed it was from God. I was starting to understand that God worked through people.

http://genevievehoward.com

2 Comment on “Broken hand to pray with (excerpt nine)

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