I’m sitting in a screened porch overlooking the Gulf of Mexico in Grand Isle, Louisiana. The waves build and crash, the air is heavy with salt, the palm trees, marshes and piers make a familiar silhouette. I love the Gulf, and I’ve staying in countlesss beach houses just like this one. Whether I’m in St.Teresa, St. George Island, St. Pete or tracing the shoreline elsewhere, this body of water is home.
It feels so familiar to spend an evening on a porch listening to waves, but this is not a normal trip. My agency has set up a very temporary satellite outpost to help six intrepid Buddhist chaplains gain access to the epicenter of the Gulf Coast oil spill clean-up.
They are here from as far as Vancouver to talk with the people of southern Louisiana who have been living with loss, fear and change because their communities and livelihoods have been disrupted, and who have been working harder than I will ever work to make the Gulf right. The chaplains will listen to their stories, bear witness to the damage done to the environment, and will join in celebrations of the resilience of coastal communities five-years post-Katrina and recovering from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. They will be of help in various ways, for a week. It’s all happening!
Want to honor that important anniversary along with the Gulf region? At Story Bleed we invite you to celebrate that resilience and dedication to home along with the Gulf through a special collection of blog posts and a carnival on the theme of Hope Remains, sponsored by Tide Loads of Hope in honor of the Faith Hill concert they are hosting in New Orleans next week.