As many of you know, my Aunt Anna and Uncle Elmore live and work in New Orleans. My cousin, Elizabeth, made her home in New Orleans and worked in the public schools in Jefferson Parish. Her husband Warren is the proprietor of two (once three) restaurants in New Orleans. They have two boys, Ike and Sammy, and a third (a girl)is on the way. They have more friends and family there than I can count.
My Uncle Dan from Atlanta was down there two weeks ago, to do what he could.
Last week was mine and my Father's turn.
Like a lot of Americans, what we know of the situation is shaped by what we see in our inadequate news media: creating a frenzy and panic in the short term, and proclaiming 'mission accomplished' far too soon so that our attention could be turned to other things. We knew a little bit more by my Mother's and my scouring of the Internet for all things NOLA. We knew the situation personally everytime we spoke to my Aunt on the phone, or got an email from my Uncle.
Last week, we went to see our family, and the Crescent City, for ourselves.
What we saw, something that seems so unique to America, is something both utterly devastating and powerfully uplifting. What we saw was a lesson in duality, and how to laugh through the tears. What we saw was testament to the journey of a thousand miles starting with the first step, or the sweeping of a sidewalk. What we saw was that, in spite of everything wrong and every fault, our nation is undoubtedely made up of the finest people to walk this Earth.
This story isn't in the news, because the news doesn't want you to believe in miracles. Not the big miracles, but the little ones, the little ones that start by rebuilding families, friendships & houses, and end up rebuilding neighborhoods, whole cities, and whole nations.
You can believe in everything going wrong, or you can believe in miracles. As I write these lines, many things will be about everything going wrong. But the miracles are in there, for those who will look.
You can believe in miracles in New Orleans.