"So we've been told
And some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see
Some day we'll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me."
It is said that Noah saw a rainbow after the flood. A rainbow that was a promise that never again would a flood come to destroy all life. A reminder of a covenant between God and His people.
In the midst of the devastating flooding that occurred in Louisiana a week ago something as ethereal as a promise rings hollow. Countless hours have already been dedicated to tearing down homes and throwing away memories and countless more will be spent searching for ways to rebuild and capture the normalcy which has evaded us in a time where normalcy is all we should have known. Fall is a time of familiarity, of regimented school schedules and creeping nostalgia; and for many the upcoming holidays will be spent in a hotel room or at a relative's house. Gone is the chance to prepare a house for family or welcome old friends to tailgates, stolen by a thousand-year event that seems all too familiar nowadays. And the questions this fall, usually centered around pumpkin spice and Tiger quarterbacks, will be more subdued. People asking where, why, how, and most importantly:
What do we do now?
Except that question has already been answered by the people of Louisiana: we rebuild. No matter whether you are a native or transplant, the true test of being a Louisianan is whether or not you help your neighbor. Over three hundred years of fighting to survive disease, wars, and bureaucrats have encoded within our souls a first instinct to help one another. We found out very quickly we could not and would not be reliant on outsiders for help. And help us they did not. The French ceded this land to the Spanish who ceded it back to Frace and the two powers played a game of continental back and forth until the Americans bought us for a song. The Union and Confederacy did not do much better. More recently, the protesters came and went as far as their Twitter mentions would carry them. Our metrics don't inspire faith just as much as our climate does not inspire celebration. Yet somehow we are experts in both. Our strength is in our connection. Our Rainbow Connection.
Kermit the Frog was not far off when he sang of a connection that he has yet to find. Something that exists within all of us and manifests itself when we choose to believe. It truly exists here in the citizenry of this state. It's a promise we have made to each other. A silent covenant that bonds us across lines of age, race, and economy. We are Louisiana. We help each other. And we will continue to do so.
Look what it's done so far.