The day we drove into Tijuana and whirled around a traffic circle, our guide, Stephanie, pointed out the statue of Cuauhtemoc, the last Aztec emperor, in the center of it. Cuauhtemoc is an important figure in Mexico, she said.
At that moment, I could not give one iota of attention to Mexican history or symbols. Where on earth were we and how would we ever find our way around this confusing place?!
Today, two weeks later, I practically genuflect every time I pass the statue of Cuauhtemoc. Many times I’ve been lost or uncertain of my way and all of a sudden, there he looms. I’m flooded with gratitude and relief because now, I know how to get home.
And the definition of home isn’t circling all the way around Cuauhtemoc and heading back toward the border crossing to the U.S. but exiting south so that I find the hotel where I turn right, the Oxxo convenience store where I turn left, the street that slants up the hill to the right where I start the steep climb to our neighborhood, the curving white house on the corner where I make a final left and have a breathtaking view of most of the city.
And then I’m almost there. Almost home.