words by jenny
Crates and crates and crates of them. Roadside stands spring up in early December along all of our regular routes selling mangos which are now in season. Just $5 will have you driving away with a bag overflowing. For my children, it certainly is the most wonderful time of the year.
Everything has turned green once again. October and November usually bring a return of the rain to the sierra and once again the earth is in full bloom. The summer months tend to be dry and we watch the grass as it turns brown and brittle. It is true that we live in the land of “eternal spring”, but with more years here on the equator I am slowly learning the rhythms of the land around me.
Turkeys pile up in the grocery stores. For those who can afford it, turkey is prepared on the 24th to celebrate with friends and family.
The traffic is INSANE! Now, I know that December is a full and busy month the world over, but I feel like Quito traffic in December is its own special kind of crazy. Where do all of these people come from?!?
The smell of fresh cut grass. For most of my years, it has been a smell tied to June/July/August but now my brain is learning to make new connections and associate the glorious smell of a freshly cut lawn to the holiday season. Our grass needs a cut multiple times a week with all the rain that this time of year brings.
Signs of the season.
I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort this holiday season to see past the snowmen stickers plastered on windows and the English language Christmas carols so often being played in the stores to seek out little signs of the season that are unique to this place. I’ve been trying to seek out ways and signals that Ecuador is turning its gaze to a stable in Bethlehem. As someone who has lived much of my life with snow and cold, there is something comforting for me in the communal attempt of all here to dream of a white Christmas – all while running our holiday errands in tank tops. However, it also causes me to have such conflicted feelings about it all. The many nods to the north help me feel less homesick but it also often feels like Northern Hemisphere has declared itself to have an edge on this whole Christmas season which it has marketed and packaged up and shipped out to the rest of the world.
So I’m gonna eat this mango and then another. And keep my eyes open for more signs of the season from right where I am.