Let the good times roll, Dark Dreamers.
For the displaced New Orleanian, today is a hard day. Back home, everyone is celebrating Mardi Gras. No school, no work, just play. A day to celebrate as a city. I was well into my teens before I realized not everyone had Mardi Gras off. I thought it was like any other holiday. But sadly, no.
Don’t get me wrong. I love living in Maryland. It is beautiful and you don’t have to swim through your basement (another concept that took a long time to get used to). There are seasons. In fact, as my friends and family clamor for beads, there are huge flakes of snow falling quietly outside my window. Later me and my trusty four-wheel drive will get out in it and make our way to work. Something I never thought I’d say in all my growing up years.
But you can take the girl out of New Orleans, but you can’t take the New Orleans out of the girl. As such, bringing Mardi Gras to Maryland has become a hobby of mine. Each year we have given a party with homemade creole cuisine and music and lots of fun, plus king cakes straight from New Orleans. I love bringing this celebration to an area where no one really knew of it first hand. I learned in the first year to put up the story of the king cake so people stopped looking at me like I was trying to kill them when I told them to let me know if they found the baby in the cake.
This year was no exception. Saturday night we had a fun party full of friends and good times.
I’ve written before about the importance of routine and places of comfort to us and thus to our characters. Well, culture and how they celebrate is important too. Not something I really thought about before, but you think I would have given I teach about it in my communication classes. Connection, a sense of belonging not only in the moment but to something bigger and older than ourselves, these things are important. Culture is more than how someone speaks. It reaches deep down into our soul and pulls out a heritage that makes us more than just a momentary blip. Hmm, food for thought. Now, where’s that left over king cake.