Big Easy’s First Lesson

New Orleans. This place finds creative ways of welcoming you. To the careful observer, she weaves her lessons into unsuspected moments of the day. She holds history in her cracked sidewalks, her houses reclaimed by nature, her schizophrenic thunderstorms, her regular before-dawn drunkards, and the ghosts who wander her streets, making sure their stories are not forgotten.

She hunched over her bike, sweat being to trickle down her face as she wrestled with the lock. A large backpack was precariously balancing over her right shoulder slowly slipping down, a not so subtle reminder of the class she was increasingly late for. Panic increased her uncoordinated jabbing motions to get the lock in place.

Something caused her to look up. An old man walking towards her was watching. As he passed his slow twangy southern accent sang out, “take your time baby, take your time.”

“I know but I’m late!” she laughed back anxiously. There was no response as he kept walking. She looked down at her bike, put her backpack down, and stood up.

“That is exactly the reminder I needed to hear right now,” she said as she took a deep breath.

Weightlessly, effortlessly, she bent down, locked her bike, and grabbed her bag. She turned to say “thank you” to the old man but he had disappeared.

So she head to class, remember to move slowly and take her time.

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