I know it has been awhile since I've been able to blog- when I've had the time or the days off I haven't had the internet access to write. I've had to pull up my March folder of pictures to jog my memory of all that's happened this past month and what exactly I want to highlight. Sometimes I want to rush ahead too fast- everything seems so exciting and I think ahead to the next great thing before I have even lived in the moment I'm in. Sometimes it is easy to think that April is half over already as I look forward to camp, or that Easter is almost here as I try and plan out teaching new music for the Easter service, with new music for summer festivals to learn, and a vacation to think of planning I find that mentally I've already reached September sometimes and am already wishing for my time with these precious kids. And then I go to write a blog update and need to pull of a folder of pictures to remember March? It's then that I realize that in tour life I am not as good as living in the moment as I ought to be, or as I have been in the past. I should go through memories more often, recount good days more frequently, love them and learn from them, and be excited about looking back- not only in looking ahead.
Over the past couple weeks I've stayed in so many homes and have heard and shared in so many stories of people who have been affected by the hurricanes that swipe out these areas of the deep south. Sometimes it is too easy to be quite honest to judge the family you've met too soon, or wonder if you'll have your own space, bed, and internet. Staying in homes where the families have not been able to get their heating systems restored, where half of their homes are missing, and where the wall to the guestroom is half collapsed and messy can upon first impression seem inconvenient and uncomfortable. It is humbling then to realize that the woman who gave up her bedroom with the half collapsed wall is sleeping on the living room couch for you so that you may have privacy and comfort. That the unfurnished bathroom has proper plumbing again just done in time for your arrival. That the people at the house with no heating yet has 10 children sleeping on the floor so you would be comfortable in a bedroom. I think of myself and how I would react in this kind of situation, and I doubt that if my house wasn't in perfect shape to host that I would- but these people have shamelessy and warmy welcomed me into their homes. It is a humbling experience to realize that I may not have even offered my home in that case in the first place.
I am so thankful to come from a place where hurricanes leave no devestation to my home town. The faith of the people in this area to rebuild with faith for a good standing home is incredible- I have enjoyed seeing the different homes that have been constructed, and hearing the hearts behind the building plans, and the joy in sharing the success of their well standing homes now with me.
Visiting New Orleans was also a big eye opener to the devistation and ruins that Hurricane Katrina left behind. It came as a suprise to me to still see so many areas being rebuilt. The city itself however is still vibrant and exuberant in its culture. I love the big city! Ang, Steve, Patrick and I all took the ferry into the city for the day off. I had only one desire in New Orelans and that was to hear live jazz music- I got to hear so many different street bands and we ate lunch over listening to a group where the lead singer's voice sounded just like Louis Armstrong's himself. To top it off we wandered around the French Quarter and ate a morning snack of french beignets-1/2 doughnut, 1/2 powdered sugar.
Tomorrow night we don't have an evening concert like we usually do on Sundays so we have the afternoon free to spend with our hosts! I am already excited to make homemade hamburgers together and walk down to the local icecream shop that is apparently to die for in the evening. However, I am trying not to get ahead of myself again-being thankful for the rest of this evening and a morning concert and open afternoon still to enjoy.