I’m going to keep moving. I don’t know what’s in my cards even though I’ve had them read. But I’ll keep moving. I was waiting for my mom after work while looking at cheap tickets. And there it was New Orleans round trip for $75. So off I went again. When I landed at night the city didn’t look special. So when my first day came around I lounged in the common room of the hostel for most of the morning and into the afternoon until I decided to not waste a vacation. I walked two miles to French quarter and immediately went in search of voodoo stores. I felt at home in them. The spirituality of each store was tangible. Each gris-gris bag and voodoo doll had an aura around it, when picked up you could feel the energy. The books felt like they had answers in ways that can’t be written down. The smell of herbs and ash stayed with me throughout the week.
I tried to make time to visit other locations within the city. Parks and zoos. However I always felt a pull to the voodoo stores and French quarter. The lively music through the streets and the smell of herbs mixed with wasted beer spilled on the hot street made this area seem like a zombie. Close to death but just alive enough to rattle you.Having just left Puerto Rico the energy of New Orleans felt so similar. The music, the chatter, the welcoming nature and southern hospitality. Although the city has its past with Mother Nature. Walking through the city a careful eye could notice lines along many houses. This was a marker of where the water reached in Katrina, on many of the houses it matched my height; which I can imagine must’ve been horrifying for those involved. Even in Puerto Rico we never reached the point of insane flooding. But we too just had our Category Five, Hurricane Maria.I didn’t realize until my vacation came to an end. While last minute gift shopping an older lady stopped me and asked where I was from. After I told her her eyes filled with empathy. She explained that she too had to leave her home in New Orleans but now was returning. She embraced me and told me everything would be okay, time heals, and people will always rebuild. This was the most important encounter in New Orleans. It reminded me that even though times are tough the human spirit is hard to break and we always persevere. New Orleans will stay with me and every so often I feel the urge to book a ticket and go back, to soak in the music and air again.