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Monday, April 8
Fran Houser Adrian Midway Cafe
Tuesday, April 9
Peter Avila San Benito Conjunto Museum
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by Tumbleweed Smith

When I taste a mango, I get slightly light-headed. I feel better and have a sense of contentment. My mind relaxes and I am immediately transported into another dimension that is full of beauty, tranquility, peace and comfort. Everything is in harmony and there is a softness to the entire environment.

I think of Browning's words: "God's in His heaven, all's right with the world," but eating a mango for me is close to being an out of the world experience or maybe it just gets me thinking about the best things the world has to offer.

I think of beautiful music, art, food, wine, natural wonders, seashores with gentle breaking waves, sky formations that seem to be the doorway to heaven, stately trees and gardens with flowers of every shape and color ever dreamed of by man or God himself.

The inside of the mango has the color of sunshine. The outside colors, red and green, remind me of love and happiness in the holiday season.

Once in Quebec I ordered a fish dish that had a mango sauce. I seldom have wine with lunch, but once I tasted the meal, a glass of wine seemed almost mandatory. One of the best trips I've ever taken was to India, the world's largest producer of mangoes. In Hinduism, a mango is the symbol of perfection. We were in India during March and mangoes weren't quite ripe, but I had to taste one anyway. Taking a bite of it made me think of all the sparkling jewelry we had seen throughout the country and the smiling children with wide dark eyes. Maybe taking that bite of mango is why I enjoyed India so much.

Mangoes make me think of unbelievable architecture, impalas gracefully jumping over a fence, waterfalls and forests with colorful birds making pleasing sounds, in tune with frogs singing their nighttime symphony. I think of a perfect hit by a baseball player, a fantastic run by a halfback, a rodeo girl rounding the barrels in record time. I see a spectacular sunset with a dazzling palette available only once a day. I think of that miraculous spiral staircase in that church at Santa Fe. In my mind I hear an angelic choir, observe a rainbow in the sky and see ballet dancers make flawless leaps and whirls.

Mango is like a drug that transports me up an over the ordinary experiences of man into a special realm of enjoyment. I think of love and respect and appreciation for all things that taste good. I think of a snow-capped peak at Jackson Hole, a mountain steam in Oregon with wildflowers alongside. I think of good times with family and friends all expressing their own personal joys of life.

I have never just eaten a mango. I enjoy a mango. It is the king of fruits, eaten fresh more than any other fruit. They are used in salads, juices, smoothies and ice cream. Mangoes must be what angels eat.

Tumbleweed Smith lives in Big Spring and is a folklorist, after dinner speaker and producer of THE SOUND OF TEXAS syndicated radio show. Contact him at tumbleweedsmith.com

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