In a snap of a finger, both my mom and I were in Mexico. It seemed surreal. On our way there, I asked my mom if she was nervous. She said that she was and that it had been about 20 years since she last saw her mother.
The ride from the airport to the ‘rancho’ was about two hours. At first, the surrounding area was city-like. But as we continued to drive further away from the airport it became a scenic route, more rural. I could see the vivid green mountains full of trees and plants, miles and miles of avocado trees strategically placed in rows on those same mountains. We drove past a few lakes, and fields of beautiful golden corn stalks. I had never seen so much greenery in my life. When I put the window down, the scent of pine trees was captivating. I guess fresh air is not part of that infamous American dream.
As we entered the rancho. The van began to shake. I looked out the window and noticed that the streets were not paved. It was just dirt and rocks, the same ones that made the van shake so much. Some of the houses that we drove by were made out of wood, others were made of concrete. Although the houses varied in size as well, one thing that they did have in common was the bright colors that they were painted in; bright green, teal, purple, and yellow. Most of the houses had beautiful flowers in their gardens. Orange, red, green, and blue flower pots adorned the entrances to their homes. Multi-colored roses bloomed in this rich farm soil. I saw red and pink geraniums blooming in the flower pots. What struck me the most were the burgundy bougainvillea flowers that draped over the entrance gates to each house.
Once at my grandma’s house, I noticed that she too had those colorful flowers; however, her house did need some paint. My mom and I hurried out of the van. We walked in before getting the luggage out and my mom called out my grandma’s name. I’ll never forget the look on her face when she saw my mom walk through the front gate of her house.
She walked out of her improvised wooden kitchen. She was making tortillas by hand and came out holding one in her hand. I remember that on top of her pants and shirt she had a red apron and a black beanie. She heard my mom yell out, “Ama, Maria!”
My grandma yelled out “Que paso?” before stepping out of that kitchen. When she saw my mom and me standing in the middle of her front lawn she stood there with an empty stare. One hand holding the raw tortilla that she was about to place on the comal and the other next to her side as tears ran down her face. By this point, both my grandma and my mom were crying. My mom approached her. They hugged for what seemed like forever. I guess that for them, it was.