Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A New Orleans Recluse

A ship's horn blows on The Mississippi and I think, "THAT! I missed that!" I'm home from a ten day trip to visit  my parents in central Mississippi and I came to the very real realization this time that New Orleans is my home and is where I want to be. I don't think I'll ever think of Mississippi as home again and I can only say it hit my heart like a close call with death when I saw the skyline coming into the city Monday night. When I saw the skyscrapers in the distance from my vantage point in the East I experienced a feeling I've only had twice before: the day I returned six weeks after Katrina and the day I returned from my first trip away after my return after Katrina. I can only describe it as a fullness in the chest, a catch of the breath and a mist in the eye. I can only describe it as a certainty that this is where I was meant to be and this is where the roots of my being have dug into the gumbo beneath my feet. I lived most of my childhood in Mississippi - from the age of 9 to the age of 21 - but I've been here 34 years and New Orleans has permeated every humidity tolerant pore of my body. Today, my first day back, everything seemed brand new and yet ageless at the same time. It was like I was seeing every leaf, every lizard, every sway of the palm tree for the first time but it was as familiar to me as the eyes that look back at me in the mirror every morning. I don't know exactly what happened on this trip that hasn't happened before but I am so happy to be home.

I think I may become like the proberbial recluse poet and never feel the need, urge or desire to leave again.

1 comment:

Glenn Meche said...

Name me any other place on the planet that has this pull on its people. I say to you what I say to everyone I encounter: Welcome home.