After Hurricane Katrina and before a new marina was built, Lake Pontchartrain shrimpers moored their boats at a nearby boat launch. I loved to visit in the evenings to see the pelicans hanging out and waiting to be fed leftover fish.
I took many pictures of them there and in other locations, like the one at West End on pilings. The pilings are all that’s left of seafood restaurants that used to be out over the lake until they were washed and blown away in 2005.
As big as the hole is inside me when I view the remains of the places where so many memories were made and good food enjoyed, I now have another perspective. At least the lake and the pelicans remained after that last disaster. I wonder about what will be left of the one going on now in the Gulf.
Shortly before the April 20, 2010 oil rig explosion we had had a series of articles that now seem ironic. We were being encouraged to return to swimming and enjoying the lake, because, with the help of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and residents’ efforts, the lake had been cleaned and was deemed a healthy environment. About the same time, we were pleased at the announcement that Pelicans had been removed from the endangered species. Now we see the images of pelicans and other animals dying in oily muck, and we worry about that same black muck destroying the Gulf, being at the Mississippi river’s mouth, and inching toward Lake Borne which goes into Lake Pontchartrain.
It’s easy for me to become mired myself in the oil catastrophe – hours reading, discussing, and worrying about what’s happening. Fortunately, I have excellent friends, mentors, and family who help me move forward in positive ways. One of these is my daughter who, believe it or not, is named Katrina. Yesterday she sent me written and video versions of a meditation for the Gulf that was, of course, just what I needed at the moment. The last picture on this blog is one I took before this spring, when the water and the pelicans appeared quite healthy. It and the meditation help me focus on the possibility of the Gulf returning to some form of health in the future. You are welcome to check out the meditation yourself at Healing Meditation for the Gulf.