A true mark of the shifting season: the first pawpaws fell today!  Three-year-old Willow and I have been watching them grow all summer, from tiny green buds under the crimson flowers, remembering afternoons last year spent nibbling fruit under the canopy of broad leaves.

I glanced out my window this morning to gauge the nature of the day’s weather, and I noticed a green bulby shape on the grass beneath the tree.   I skipped out the door and down the stairs and delightfully gathered five quirky fruits from the ground.  I carried them into Llano kitchen (the common kitchen in the courtyard) to share the wealth.  I was tickled to introduce the fruit to some guests who’d never seen them before.  “It’s the largest indigenous edible fruit in America!  Try it, it tastes like a cross between a mango and an avocado.”  Some loved it, others balked at the unusual flavor.  Willow was breakfasting in the kitchen, and he grabbed one from my hand, remembering to ask, “do I eat the green part?”.  The answer is no, that’s the skin.  I broke it open for him and told him to eat from the center, and give me the seeds.

And now I have twelve brown seeds in my pocket, collected from the whole lot eaten at breakfast.  When all the fruit has fallen from the tree, I’ll turn my collection into necklaces and bracelets to wear in the winter, to remember the abundance of the land and the taste of pawpaws on an August morning.

the largest indigenous edible fruit!