. . . L O U I S I A N A . . .

The wind blew....
the water rose.....
and the levees broke.....

The salty, putrid water of Katrina washed away the breath of her children.

The people shouted...
the babies cried...
and the mamas held on tight to the hands of their children.
Uncertainty and desperation filled the eyes of those left wondering and wandering.

But from out of every corner of the world, people heard the shouts and pleadings and they also heard the quiet, desperate whispers of the stranded.
They sent money...
they sent people...
they sent the shirts off their backs...
and, the mighty Mississippi was filled with the blood, sweat and tears poured out for all the people of the devastated coast and the grand dame, herself, New Orleans.

Less than one month from Katrina, came Rita---
The wind blew.... again;
the water rose..... again;
and the levees broke..... again

And as far the rest of Louisiana, the surge that breaks the levees and overcomes the sea walls in this great land is now the river of hope that will not be contained. All of the children of the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Texas are familiar with the threats and conquests of Mother Nature. This land, built on marsh grass and fed by the salt and silt of its waterways, is one rich in promise and tradition. Those of us lucky enough to be born in the arms of the Gulf rarely look for greener pastures. We know that we already have 1,000 shades of green all around us.

The battle that rages between the water and the land is over --- but the wounds are fresh. That great spirit that has been hostess to so many people is not dead. She will square her shoulders, lift her chin and fight the shame brought to her door by the souls who, in the face of adversity, lost their humanity; she will not forget the goodness of those who came to her rescue, nor will she remember the insults; she will bind the wounds of her children with patience and love; she will bury her dead with the sounds of a jazz funeral echoing over the land and a second line will escort them on to a place filled with the light of the sun.

Then, that graceful, strong, sweet belle will once again.... square her shoulders, lift her chin, take a slow deep breath, sweep off her porch and welcome the new day with a song and a prayer. And when company comes to call again, the coffee will be hot and every one who crosses the worn threshold will be welcomed.

After all, tomorrow is another day ---

Carol Lafleur
2005 ~ All Rights Reserved

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Music is Louisiana 1927
as performed by Aaron Neville

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