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Community,  Culture,  Katrina,  Life,  Memoir

Raindrops and Milk & Honey

I complained of the rain earlier and two things hit me, #1 if the rain doesnt fall, flowers can not grow. #2 I have anxiety after last years flooding, when the pumps failed. I’m scared of the very rain that my Mama would open all the windows and doors to and we would sit watching it. I used to loved the sound of the rain, the feeling of the drops on my face, now that memory is replaced by memories of flooding.

After New Orleans recovered from the storm, after all the water soaked in the earth and produced a bounty of wealth and opportunity for some, the very people who suffered through the strom, survived and grew from the waters of Hurricane Katrina, they are not reaping the harvest. There are plenty of people reaping the harvest by simply moving into the city and it’s like they are giving seedling prior to coming here, to give them a jumpstart. While the actual locals, Natives are here hopping their seeds are magical beans…

As with all growth we go through a process to get to fulfilling our purpose. Planting the seed requires pushing up thru the dirt, we need the storm/rain to soften the dirt in order for it to come out of the darkness beneath the dirt. So, many made it out the dirt, so many untold stories of a major life tragedy lay still buried in the ground, but unearth itself as mental illness at times.

So, like the seed, we don’t mind planting, writing, planning our goals desires and dreams, we do not mind working the fields, networking & etc, but when that storm comes, when you feel those rain drops hitting ever crevice, every pore,until it sinks into your mind and body is when you give up, but you don’t realize you are growing and you need the rain in order to reap the harvest. I’ll never say we need the storm to cleanse our city, like some fools have uttered from their ignorant mouths, but I will say that Katrina happened, the renovations that were done to the poorest areas are immaculant, the city and state officials are doing a great job on beautification projects especially in places it helps add dollars to the already wealthy people. The very projects I used to frequent to visit family and friends are now condos that none of them can afford to live in. The harvest of Katrina has not been shared appropriately with the natives that went through the storm.

The storm, the rain, the problems, hurts and pain is growing us strengthening us to be able to fulfill our greater purpose. Lots of New Orleans natives would have never traveled had it not been for Katrina. Some never went pass the Ponchatrain Bridge. The rental and furniture vouchers helped them to be able to finally purchase new furniture after losing hand me downs. Well, I wouldn’t mind having some of my grandmother’s handme downs…but I guess in a sense Katrina helped with that, but those lil monies weren’t enough to equate their suffering. I don’t care if they didn’t have a chair, those who endured that deserved more and if you ever go through something that horrible you will feel the same. After you have walked miles in water, with no water to drink, in the hot sun, you survived, move back home only to find some rich people sitting on your neighbor porch who you tried to help pull out the attic but couldn’t wouldn’t that piss you off? How much is that worth to you? Would that lil free rent and furniture voucher cover that pain of all that you gone through?? Living here and seeing how the rich transplants live is like being spit on.

Yes, we grew from the experience, learned from it, we sprouted up and pulled ourselves from the dirt, but… it just hurts to know how my people are treated, which is why I want those who love our culture to really know our culture and what we go through.

Just as with Katrina, those who lived here, stayed or left prior to the break, you all had no choice, but to wait, suffer, endure and go through the storm, never to be who you were before, but you made it. You made it through the water, thru the dirt and bullshit of the system. You weathered the storm, the rain watered the seeds that were planted by our ancestors, you pushed up through the darkness and you are stronger and wiser, but still fragile.

It’s in that last stage of growing, realizing where you have come from, that you can breathe a lil bit easier since the weight of the dirt is beneath you, you can soak in all the good vitamins of the warm sun against your beautiful skin and in feeling a lil bit better you can tend to the ground around you, pulling up the weeds as they grow, plucking out the bugs and picking up the trash and before you know it you are in full bloom, your seed has produced a bounty of fruit, the land is full of milk and honey, because it’s Harvest time and you are strong enough to get up and reap the harvest!

In my Momo voice I’ll say “I weather this storm til its Harvest Time!”

I truly believe that the people of New Orleans are due a portion of all the wealth that the city produces. I see and feel that this is the land of milk and honey, which is why the people, the big businesses are taking over and it’s not fair. The seed holders, the field keepers, the workers of New Orleans who endured the storm should reap the harvest not the business man, not the wealthy person out of reach with our culture who moved here, because the land is hot and they want to not only take the culture, but change it into what they believe is New Orleans culture.

Let the people reap the harvest of the storm, the keys to the city need to go to the actual survivors of this land. Give them a taste of the cold milk and sweet honey.

Neauxla Chic ⚜

Native of New Orleans, who endured 20yrs cruel Minnesota Cold, I decided at 42yrs old it was time to pack up my then 6yr old and come back to my roots. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a preterm 2lb baby girl born with a disability. With the help of my mother who had her own struggles. We survived the obstacles laid before us. I'm the proud mother of three children with two failed adoptions, as well as a grandmother of three, two grandsons and a granddaughter. I survived two abusive marriages. I successfully ran a soulfood restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I started creating custom cakes after the murder of my beloved cousin Melvin Paul.  He survived Katrina only to go to Minneapolis six months later to be murdered over a parking spot dispute.  I put my all into my cake business over the years as House of Cakes was started right out of my house in honor of him. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, foster/adoptive mother at that, being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me in a sense; but most of it poisoned my heart and soul. I had a broken heart and I felt deep down the only way to repair it was to get back to my roots, my soul, my home,  myself, my New Orleans. I'm here and I'm loving it. Even being in the so called Blighted Area of New Orleans and not having all the financial and material security, I'm happy. I am determined that She, yes New Orleans is a woman is just like me; together we will overcome and will rise from all that tried to kill our spirit. Nothing like starting from the bottom and making your way back up! I'm down in the boot, but I know I have a nice floppy hat awaiting my destiny...

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