Yesterday afternoon I drove nonstop back home from a jaunt to San Miguel de Allende. The minute I crossed over the Guanajuato state line into Michoacán, the change was discernable. The air is just a little fresher, the countryside just a little greener, everything just a little more normal. Michoacán even smells better.
The moment of hope begins at the edge of Celaya, where the green signage first points the way to Morelia, around the intersection of Manuel Clouthier and Juan José Torres Landa. A feeling comes over me that these names are important to me, even if they may not be recognized by the folks living off in Gotham. I’m southward bound, to the city that sired the sitting president, to the state that spawned the Cardenas dynasty, to mi tierra. The causeway over Lago de Cuitzeo means that the municipio of Morelia isn’t far off, and an ear-to-ear grin comes over my face, once I cross its northern border, where the people will begin to drive right. Now, there are those living in not-too-far-off Patzcuaro who think that we Morelianos drive like bats out of hell, but our driving patterns strike me as just right, even if a goodly lot of us are either country folk hitting the big city bright lights or learned our driving manners from Chilangos.
The same rush of traffic begins at the other edge of the city, where the road leads in from Patzcuaro. Nothing ever feels quite so good as the blast of light from the city.
I turn into the parking lot at Superama, and my parking lot attendant is there. Now, there are men who have their favorite waitress, the kind who calls patrons “Honey,” over at the local diner. I’ve got my favorite parking lot attendants, the ones who remember me and my car, inquiring if I happen to have missed a week’s trip to the store. My parking lot attendant sensed my weariness after the drive as I exited my dust-covered car, and asked where I’d been. I knew I was home again.