Everyone has a story to tell.
I hear two of them, even before my airplane lifts off from Tijuana International Airport.
“Maria” tells me that she’s going to Morelia to visit her grandmother, who was hospitalized over a week ago. Maria’s mother has been keeping vigil at Abuela’s bedside, but her employer demands her return, so now Maria will go and take her mother’s place.
It will be a quick trip, however, because Maria can be with her abuela only over the weekend—no more time off work—and she is frustrated, because her flight is already three hours late: less time with Abuela.
After Maria leaves her abuela’s hospital bedside, another family member will have to make the long and arduous journey to Morelia, a city that both Maria and I agree is beautiful.
“Several years ago, my wife and I were walking one evening in Morelia when we heard music. We found hundreds of people dancing in a little plaza near the aqueduct. They wanted us to join in!”
“That’s the way it should be,” says Maria, “everybody happy, everybody dancing. But now with the drug wars…” Her voice trails off. It is clear that she has no words to express her sorrow over the degradation of her city.
on the boulevard
three jacarandas blossom—
empty shopping bag
“David,” is flying to La Paz. To amuse his infant daughter, he holds her up to the window to watch airplanes coming and going.
“She seems to like what she sees,” I say.
“I’m not sure it’s the planes,” David replies. “I think what she’s really looking at is her own reflection in the glass.”
“It doesn’t take much to amuse the wee ones, does it?”
“No, and I’m glad,” David says.
“Is your flight delayed too?”
“Yeah, but I’m not sure how long. The information on the board keeps changing.”
Part of the art of traveling well is to take things in stride—flight delays, baggage fees, long security lines, missed connections, unhelpful airline personnel—and David doesn’t seem too worried about his late flight.
Our brief conversation is interrupted by an announcement that the flight to La Paz is ready for boarding. David perches his tiny daughter on his right shoulder and heads for the boarding gate, where he knows his wife is waiting.
“Sorry I have to run,” he says over his left shoulder, and disappears into the crowd.
“Safe travels,” I reply.
obeying the wind
a red dragon kite rises
higher and higher
Text and photo © 2016 by Mark M. Redfearn, all rights reserved