I feel the Quito summer as I open the curtains, and then the window. The wind, dry and fresh with the scent of the mountains comes in a hurry, impatient because I overslept, as I usually do. So I let him in, or he lets himself in. I have no say in the matter. We all know the wind does as he pleases. Or is it a she? Or may be it is what we want it to be when we want it be. The wind has this universal quality of being everything, everyone and everywhere. Some times it sits still, other times it gets up and dances a waltz, a tango, a blues, others it just goes totally mad and behaves like a devil child, selfish and spoiled.
With the Quito summer wind comes along the summer sun and the summer sky, clean as if not knowing what lies beneath it. Us, a mess, humanity, little ants trying to make things out, make something of ourselves, succeed, become great, do great things, be. The sky unrolls some quiet clouds, now white, now orange, now purple, now gone. Even shadow behaves differently than other times of the year. Being more a prophet, announcing the day at its zenith, announcing the night, protecting us from the direct harshness of the sun.
Quito summer also brings along fires, dust, dryness, heat… but I don’t quite feel those as I feel the wind. I hope rain does come to pay us a visit more often than now and then, though. It does feel all holy when it comes in its manner to wash away our fears, doubts and pains, bringing change along with it. To me, change above all, is the most frightening thing. It’s like standing on a hanging bridge. You know you have to get to the other side, but every time you start walking the damn thing moves, making everything unsteady and forcing me to get a hold of myself, to stop.
(I say Quito summer because it is not really summer, considering here in Ecuador we don’t have seasons as do other places outside the equator. And summer in Quito -the Andes- is not the same as summer in the rest of the country. While here it is generally dry and sunny, in the coast it is rainy and cold-ish.)
Now everything is calm. Too calm. The colors in the sky, the lights in the city, the moving cars and the people in them. The afternoon is closing in, the wind is a voyeur pacing outside my window, waiting for me to open it, knowing I always do. He wants to take me with him, or she, or it, and push me to walk. (I know I have to give the next step.) “Hang on wind! Don’t be so impatient!” I know it is not possible, but I have a feeling I might just have forgotten how to walk. “Excuses!”, he says. May be I should learn how to fly instead. Or just dance along with the wobbling of the bridge. Dancing, that is something that always seems to work.
I stop to think for a minute (like I do most all day long). Heraclitus said: I am what I do. Yoda said: Do, or do not, there is no try. I say: Try, it’s better than nothing. Then I also say: it’s easier said than done. “Excuses!”, says the wind. Aren’t we all just damn full of them? Not that I am making excuses when I say that. But it has been rather calm lately, and now that summer is here, it is more palpable. Like the sea, when it stays still right before the big waves start coming in, again.