On yesterday morning’s power walk, I happened to look up into a tree as I was briskly walking by, and saw what appeared to be a cluster of green lemons.

I don’t often stop during the power walking phase of my exercise because I like to maintain the cardio aspect. Even brief stops tend to impact that.

This time, curiosity won out over the desire to maintain my pace.

As I looked closer, I realized that the size and shape of the fruits, as well as the foliage and the tree trunk indicated that these were definitely not lemons. They were a tropical fruit I’d never seen before.

I snapped the photo, and later posted it to FaceBook, knowing that my cousin, who lived in South Africa for many years, and a good friend in northern Australia would both help because of their familiarity with tropical plants. I wasn’t wrong. Within minutes of my posting, both of them identified the fruit as paw-paws.

Now I had heard of paw-paws before, through a song we sang in elementary school, but we just sang the song and were never taught what it was we were singing about. I had also completely forgotten about the song until yesterday. How wonderful, that 60 or more years later, a childhood memory resurfaced for the first time and I accidentally discovered what it was that we were singing about all those years ago!

“Pickin’ up paw-paws, puttin’ ’em in her pockets,

Pickin’ up paw-paws, puttin’ ’em in her pockets,

Pickin’ up paw-paws, puttin’ ’em in her pockets,

Way down yonder in the paw-paw patch.”

Traditional Folk Song