March 1st, 2006


6 Months Gone

There's no official six-month anniversary of Hurricane Katrina because there's no February 29th this year. But everyone is treating today as the half-year mark of the storm's landfall.

Half a year ago, people from all over New Orleans, Southern Louisiana and coastal Mississippi sat in their dens, hotel rooms and friends' homes waiting in a weird haze of nervous, fearful suspense. We watched the news until the power went out and then we watched the weather wondering what the impact would be on our homes, our city and our lives.

Six months gone and we still wait, watch and wonder in nervous, fearful suspense as our future here is hashed out in insurance company cubicles, FEMA offices, legislative votes and government hearings. So much is still uncertain. But people are back and continue to return with determination to rebuild and make things work here once again.

It's rather fitting that Mardi Gras 2006 fell on the six-month anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Mardi Gras provided a time to revel in well-deserved celebration and release after hard months of stress and trauma. And it was an opportunity to take a few somber moments to ponder what we all face here in the months and years ahead.

Six months gone and I am a lot tougher and yet much more tender because of what I've experienced and witnessed.

"...celebrating Carvinal this year even more important, more meaningful, more significant."

"For a moment, you can wander through the city, hear the music and the crowds, shut your eyes and forget."