When I began to see monarchs fluttering by my rooftop in Morelia, capital of the state of Michoacán, I felt as if I were greeting old friends from home in this most improbable place. Like me, these monarchs were foreigners. None of them had ever been to Mexico, where their great-to-the-nth grandmothers had abandoned their spent grandfathers the previous spring. So far as these butterflies could possibly know, they were simply obeying an itch to fly a few thousand miles, as if by some collective whimsy.
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PUBLISHED ON VELA MAGAZINE. A few days before the actual Day of the Dead, I picked up my son from his Montessori school and we strolled together down Morelia’s Calzada, a ficus-lined cobblestone pedestrian avenue that stretches from the colonial city’s pink stone aqueduct to San Nicolás, the university where more …