In the past two days in New Orleans, I've fallen in love with the way folks sit out on their porches. Porch size doesn't really matter. It only needs to be big enough for one, maybe two chairs.
I imagine that once upon a time, in an existence not so long ago, some old lady sat on this particular porch in New Orleans' Ninth Ward. She probably admired the wrought iron on her porch railing and gazed up at the proud stature of the old oak trees that once stood everywhere. She probably spoke to her neighbors and inquired about what was going on in their lives. She might have read her Bible on that porch. I'm sure she contemplated all the dreams, desires and disappointments she'd had in her youth. I'd like to think she never got to a place where she accepted that the way things were was the way it would always be.
How could our old lady have known that the levees, merely that concrete wall in the background, would be breached and her home would be destroyed? No fortune teller could have told her that the site of countless conversations and events in life would be reduced to mere remnants. What was once her home, her neighborhood, her heart, is now uninhabitable, a ghost town of epic proportions.
Imagine what you would do if your neighborhood was vibrant and thriving, bustling with both happiness and heartache, and then became this...
I'd like to think that the strength and spirit of the people who once lived in the Ninth Ward lingers even though they're gone.
It makes me wonder, how would I react in the face of such devastation, such adversity? Could I respond with such courage? Could you?