Dread

May 1, 2010

Watching from afar and worrying about the coast that is permanently lodged in my heart as my homing spot. Growing up in South Louisiana, about a half hour from the marsh and beach that form the Louisiana coastline, some of my earliest memories are of times spent crabbing, spying on alligators basking in the sun, and avoiding cows on the beach. It's not a touristy spot with the oil rigs on the horizon, the gritty, brown sand, and trailers used for hunting/fishing camps. It's an area that has taken repeated beatings from hurricanes, erosion, and pollution. And yet it is also an area populated with tenacity and determination. Vegetation and creatures that have endured. Families who have re-built higher. Shrimpers, oyster farmers, and fishermen who have clung on to their tenuous livelihoods. That's the Louisiana part of the Gulf Coast that I hold dear.

And then there is Navarre Beach, a barrier island on Florida's Gulf Coast. It is the place I escape to in my head when I am seeking comfort and joy. I have shared posts on our annual family trips to this narrow piece of paradise. It's white, sandy beaches and warm waters are woven into the fabric of our family. Intense weeks of re-connection between four generations of my family...card playing, beach combing, story telling, Cajun dancing, and maintaining the threads that tie us to together. We keep track of our weeks in our "Florida Book". It is essentially a family journal filled with moments from the week, wildlife sightings (dolphins, sting rays,black skimmers nesting), and water reports (jellyfish year? seaweed soup or crystal clear?).Over thirty years in that "Florida Book" of ours and I want my kids to be able to write in it with their kids. But right now it all seems so fragile in the face of this massive storm of oil that is approaching.

Today is my mom's birthday. My birthday wish is for her, but for the rest of us, too. I am not going to jinx it by saying it out loud, but I am sure you can guess what it is.
Mom2Isabel said...

We are also watching with dread at the approaching devastation. The governor has declared a state of emergency in several panhandle counties.
We are hoping for some kind of weather miracle which will turn the winds.

A happy birthday to your mom from us. Is she still there visiting you?

L & I

Nancy said...

The Gulf Coast has had it so tough. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. May your birthday wish for your mom come true.

Laurie said...

Happy Birthday to you mom...and I thought of you shortly after the news started to break. Hoping with you for your wish to come true.

Lori and Brian said...

So sad...keeping our home in my prayers. It was good seeing you the other day, hopefully our paths will cross in the South some day :)

Jen@TwoKidsandaMap said...

So glad to see you bringing awareness to something so near and dear to you. Being from Pensacola, I wrote about my feelings and our day picking up trash at the beach today.

Happy birthday to your mom!

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Thank you all for the birthday wishes. I'll pass them on to my mom. Just woke up and haven't checked on the latest news from the Gulf but really hoping there will be some sort of dramatic change/miracle.

Theresa said...

something I pray for every day

aimee said...

the gulf coast is some of the most gorgeous coastline i've ever seen. they've gotten such a raw deal over the last few years :(

T.L. Holmes said...

Yes, Happy Birthday to your mom...and the wishes--oh, that they do come true!

Anonymous said...

Amen to that one. I hope it comes true.

Jan

Genie said...

Serious amen to that. So awful...so sad...

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