Summer Summer has hit. For real. The air is light and balmy, the platano trees are a mass of green and a bird is chirping its little heart out just outside our window.
This afternoon I went places. I took a taxi. We were stopped at a light; the windows were down and I lay in my seat with my head back and my eyes closed, enjoying the early summer warmth, overlaid with the smells of petrol and hot tarmac. There was music coming from another car nearby, happy boppy summer pop-
"Look." The taxi driver said.
I opened my eyes. The music was coming from the next car over - a red Volkswagen beetle; not fire-engine red, but ladybird red, which is brighter and more alive, and behind the wheel was a girl. Her lips were painted a bright barbie pink. Her long hair fell down a high ponytail, tied up with a blue twist, and she was dancing in her seat, shaking that long fall of hair, bouncing her fingers on the wheel, singing and shimmying her shoulders, sending her summer-blue shirt slithering and slithering from one bronze collarbone to another.
It was a performance, but she wasn't playing to anyone. She was dancing her heart out for herself in her bright red summer car.
"Look." The driver said again, and his voice was one long sigh. "She even has a flower."
I looked. There was a flower, a peony tied with a bit of ribbon to the rear-view mirror.
"Es ella una maravilla." (She is a marvel.) "Una maravilla." He folded his hands on the wheel and watched.
She was Joy, and in a whole day full of summer, she was the most wonderful thing I saw.