I recently returned from a trip to New Orleans, delivering sewing machines. Each trip stands on its own as a jewel, and these jewels together create a mosaic whose borders reach far beyond what I can see.
On this particular trip I was accompanied by Bird, a friend and board member, and Ann, a dear friend. We decided to make it a road trip so I could stop on the way and visit my 6th grade teacher, Marj, in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. Marj is 97 years old and honestly, was one of the key players in my life (although I didn’t know it at the time). Marj played a part in setting the tone for this trip with her open attitude, love of art, and respect for energy deeper than anything we can see.
Our mission in New Orleans was basically to deliver 10 machines to members of the Mardi Gras Indian community. We kept the numbers small on this trip because we were working with a new connection and no one wanted to be overwhelmed. In a serendipitous turn, this connection, Sabrina, happens to be the daughter in law of the first connection I met in the Mardi Gras Indian community, way back in 2006, on my first trip after Hurricane Katrina. Imagine that?!
We delivered the machines at Treme Center, a bustling community center in the Treme neighborhood. We were met with smiles and strong arms as kind men helped us unload the machines. The recipients included home sewers,tailors and masking Indians, as well as a woman teaching African culture to kids through dance. In the corner of the room where we were working sat a very noble, quiet man who seemed to have visitors the entire time we were there. Introducing ourselves we were greeted by Jerome Smith, one of the brave Freedom Riders. The entire experience held magic.
But that’s the thing. It all depends on how you allow yourself to see it. Einstein said “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” To me, every little thing is a miracle.
Marj always told us that the world was wide open. She taught us to trust our instincts. She hugged us and loved us and let us know we were valuable. On this trip we opened up to all of that. In the weeks before we traveled I had a conversation with Ann about New Orleans. She had a lot on her plate and wasn’t sure if it was wise to travel. It was to be her first trip to the city. My advice was “if you do go you need to walk in with your heart wide open. New Orleans is a place that will capture your heart if you let it.” I’m so glad she decided to join us.
We all moved through the adventure with wide open hearts and magic just kept happening.
Part II is just around the corner…….