It popped open with a windy whoosh and the snap of its ribs. But from the spectator’s perspective, no one seemed to be beneath it! Sitting on a bench on the Malecon, she rubbed her eyes and looked again.
It was royal blue, and so silky that she knew it must be a sunbrella, and could protect, not from rain, but from the intense Mexican rays. On its edge was a narrow golden band looking rich as a rim of coins. Its slim and lacquered stem was mauve, embellished with rosepink flowers, and had an elegant curve of handle. The pointed tip carried the pale purple right through the blue cupola. But who had opened this beauty in blue?
The observer hadn’t been looking in that direction until the umbrella flared its roof. Now she could see a pair of legs below, supple legs in tight jeans, ending in soft blue shoes. When the feet under the blue umbrella began to lift and click together in the air, her jaw dropped and her eyes widened. She gazed in wonder at the dream of a dancing blue sunbrella, Lake Chapala shining in the sun behind it.
A faint song emerged from under the sunbrella’s dome. The melody had a canary trill that fairly flew, nimble music matching the apparition’s buoyancy. Time itself paused for the mystery. The spectator sat riveted to her bench, afraid if she took her eyes off the delight, it would disappear like a bubble blown over the lake. Without moving, she leaned her whole attention forward to grasp the phenomenon. But then, she sneezed!
The blue sunbrella, mid-dance, vanished down the Malecon in an instant. But the spectator heard a word wafting back to her ear, sung in so dulcet a tone that, as she sat bereft on the bench, a great healing settled deep in her bones. The word she heard drifting back like a dream? Salud.
(Salud: Spanish for health; used in Mexico as a declarative equivalent of God Bless You! when someone sneezes.)
*This piece of FUN was the result of the visual (and audio) prompt at our writing group this week. We closed our eyes and heard the sound of it opening, and then opened them to view the sunbrella before we wrote in silence together as we always do. (My beautiful sister Pattie in this photo was not part of the prompt.)