we were newlyweds. we started each day blissfully and sleepy-headed in the tiny lush courtyards of the place d'arms hotel. I am remembering those dream-like mornings, the thickness of the air, the distinct fragrance, the sound of the water in the mossy fountains, the quiet. I am remembering our breakfasts, the sensation of tearing delicate chunks from my croissant while we talked about the possibilities the day held. I am remembering what it felt like to be a new bride. we were on our honeymoon in new orleans.
and now here it is, eleven years later, and I find myself consumed with the television footage. I have been paralyzed by this, unsure what to do with all my emotions, my outrage, my fear, my sadness. over and over in my mind, with all these questions... what are they going to do? why haven't the people been helped? what is taking so long? what are they going to do with all that water? how will they rebuild? what can I do? WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO? I had the desperate and overwhelming urge to drive the short six hours down there to nurse those dehydrated babies myself (because how can those mothers breastfeed if they haven't had any water?). I hit my breaking point with it friday night and turned the tv off. I sat in the dark for a moment, stared at the blank screen. decided to check my email. a last-minute opportunity to get involved in the relief efforts presented itself and while it felt like the tiniest drop in a bucket of immeasurable tragedy, it was action, it was SOMETHING. a small anniversary gift to a city that my husband and I share such love and passion for.
today, we have been married for eleven years. in all honesty, I was really looking forward to writing about the trip we made to new orleans almost exactly one year ago today, a trip we made with the kids to celebrate a decade of marriage. I couldn't wait to share the photographs and the stories. and I will share them eventually, I think, if only to honor the spirit and history of the city. as I pray for all the people, for the rescuers, the volunteers, for healing and for peace, I will also be saying a little prayer for rebirth-- that we will have a new orleans to return to on our twentieth wedding anniversary.