courtesy of solcomhouse.com
Prettiest Day in New Orleans
I can’t believe it’s been five years already. Moving to New Orleans was me embarking on a new journey. New Orleans was the perfect city. First week through classes, enjoying the new experiences and first weekend out on Bourbon street, I was ready for August 29,2005. It was a Monday. If I recall correctly, I remember briefly hearing about a hurricane coming on that Sunday. My mom had mentioned it to me, but no one I knew on campus or heard about was taking the storm that seriously. A hurricane? Oh whatever! Besides, it would more than likely be something simple over the weekend and we’d be back to work. The weather had been pleasing the previous week and the weekend. Monday morning I looked out the window before getting ready for class, and my mom calls me. Apparently, the hurricane was more serious than expected. I realized people were leaving, but I still wanted to stay. I wasn’t convinced yet, but my mom had my uncle, from Biloxi/Ocean Springs, to pick me up. I sat on the stoop in front of KD. There weren’t any clouds in the sky. The humidity felt rather low that morning, and the birds were singing. In the midst of the people congregating on the lawn, the chaos and mayhem, the nature around us was still and beautiful. So, I took a stroll toward the library and sat near the shaded tree in the breezeway facing the nun’s quarters I think. It just didn’t seem like a hurricane was due to arrive. When my uncle came and we sat through several hours of traffic, people were frantic. Needless to say, the next time I’d return to New Orleans would be in January when the city was open to residents again. The week of Katrina, I resided in Mississippi. The storm came in with full force, it whistled through the night and day until it finally died down. It was a stillness for a minute before the sounds of sirens surrounded us. I hadn’t slept since the storm came in. We had no electricity, access to phones, food, water but the church up the street offered us meals. The only way I could get home was through Alabama…the long way back to Houston because of the apparent damage. I had no idea what was going on until my uncle told me, “Your school is flooded.” So, the prettiest day in New Orleans was a hoax? I felt bamboozled by nature. To allow us to have the most perfect day, it set us up for the perfect storm. Katrina was historic in nature and brutal in its forces. Seeing the gulf of Mississippi, the places we used to go, the places we used to stay, the beach homes along the front...they are no more. The vitality of New Orleans is just not the same. The energy is different. The aspects of history from both of these states I've spent a great time growing to love had changed. But is the change necessarily bad? No. It was just different. I went back to Houston went three pairs of clothes and school books. Everything about what happened with Katrina is officially a blur, but I’ll never forget the day of. It’s just a continuous reminder for me that its in the silence, the quiet, the perfection in something that rises up the spirit in you to say, “God must have something to say.” Oh, He had plenty to say and plenty to expose. There’s still a long way to go. It'll be like 9/11 for those of us who went through Katrina, but I refuse to remember it as a sad story. It initiated new desires within me for that I'm grateful. I definately reverance any pretty days in Houston from now on. This time...I'm listening,.