Quiet is a relative term, to be honest, it seems there is more noise than ever before. There is a loud hum in the air that last all day and night. White noise emitting from generators and chainsaws. The sound of tractors revving and trees being jerked along the ground, shoved unceremoniously into huge piles, awaiting their next fate of being burned or trucked away.

You may think, why if there is all this noise, do you call this the raging quiet?

Because the sounds of our community have changed. The tree leaves don’t rustle as loud, because half or more of the trees are gone now. The frogs are more silent, and the birds have taken to barely showing face. With exception of the hummingbirds who are out in droves. The sounds of nature have changed, the air feels different, as if it is living in the expectancy of the next big change.

It stirs my soul to its depth, this unsettled place of being. At moments my eyes over flow and heart feels the heaviness of this collection of hurt, change, and pain that has made every person here the same…. Stronger.

Perseverance is a way of life. It is an echo that never leaves our blood. For here in this state that others wonder why we love, we are grown into people of depth and width. It is our culture; it is in our hugs and our food. Our songs, the beat of the music, the laughter, the Cajun French, the Creole, the sprinkles of German, and Irish and so many other cultures that have merged together to bring about a people who rise. The dark does not scare us, for in the dark the stars shine the brightest.

Our lives now may seem scattered. Drive into any neighborhood or town around the Lake Charles area and you will see the inside of the homes lining the streets and drives. As if Hurricane Laura decided everyone need a remodel of some kind, and many just needed a full rebuild, as her winds and might seeked to destroy and bring to submission everything in her path. But see, it is in the hardest of times, the deepest of dark, that you will see the South united.

With our sweet tea glasses raised, pulling on work gloves, passing out waters, serving up jambalaya’s and gumbos to the hungry, neighbor helping neighbor, state helping state. Look closely and you will see more heart, love, endurance, and overflowing pride, than you may ever be blessed to witness.

We are strength in crisis. We are healing in the hurting. We are raising the future and helping them to learn how to live like in the past. And again, we rise. Life is hot here, often wet and sticky, the air may choke those who are unfamiliar to it, and so many will never understand this love we have for the marshes, trees, swamps, trails, and crawfish, but live here through a disaster and your heart in mankind will be restored. You may even learn to let down a wall or two.

We will shed our tears; we will pray and lean more on God and our faith than we already did. We will learn and begin again, and tomorrow will be a new day, were we find ourselves resting in the healing and the new, saying yet again……the more things change, the more they seem to stay the same.

Because the way of life here, the culture here, the strength here, will never fade away.

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