Category Archives: Mardi Gras

the journey

I checked the almanac yesterday and realized that soon it will be Groundhog’s Day. I can’t seem to overcome this feeling anxiety caused by the rapidness of life. Wasn’t it just Christmas?
I love this time of year – this little pocket of time that is a teaser to spring, at least down here in the Deep South. First, there is Groundhog’s Day and then Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day capped off with St Patrick’s Day. I suppose I am fond of these days because the retailers haven’t yet found too many ways to commercialize them – they are certainly working on it but it’s still in moderation.
I, as I have mentioned before, had a wonderful mother and one of the wondrous things about her was her earthiness – her ability and desire to make do and to create from found objects. Preparing for a holiday was never about a trip to Hobby Lobby – it was a scavenger hunt through seldom used drawers and cupboards and a possible trip through the woods – gathering things to create. I try to remember the “things” she made but I cannot – I just remember the journey.
 In saying that, I think of the money spent on all of those “things” (made in China) that serve little purpose because there was no journey attached to them. It is cliché to write about the “journey” – like most things in our culture, it has become a catch phrase and becoming quickly overused and abused but I dare to use it here, for I speak of the physical journey – the walks through the woods, the rummaging through the house and never, the trip to town. I place so much value in that example – I regret to say that I have not always followed in her conservative footsteps but I have never forgotten the lesson and I use this post to share it with you.Perhaps it will motivate you to think more of your natural resources and to tap into your creativity – it’s there for you to enjoy and share. 

The Full Wolf Moon will rise this Saturday night and this cold and unhurried month of January will end soon after. The almanac is forecasting a chilly start to February in my area and as uncomfortable as cold weather is, it has purpose.
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Mardi Gras

There is a Mardi Gras “incident” I remember from years back that I “get” now. It involved my mom and a pot of gumbo. There is a tradition here in south Louisiana that every house should have a pot of Mardi Gras gumbo simmering on the stove on Fat Tuesday. It goes back to the tradition of the Le courir de Mardi Gras that came from the back country – something totally unlike the pageantry and parades seen in the cities. This maintains its French pronunciation because of its place of origin, the French countryside. This is the Mardi Gras my mom grew up knowing – chasing chickens on horseback and in costume that would end up in a communal pot of gumbo. Well, that tradition, as are many, was buried deep within her but it was not passed on, so, how was I to know it was important? Anyway, one Mardi Gras she made a pot of gumbo and we, her adult children, did not show up – we had made other plans – parades. She was very disappointed, perhaps even offended?? I didn’t really understand the dramatic response then, but I do now. I understand the wanting to share your past with your future, wanting your children to know where you came from. Life is funny though because all of those opportunities to share and connect tend to happen when your children need to be so in the moment – their lives are busy with their children, careers, houses, etc. It is all so upside down and regretful. Today, this time in my life, would be a great Mardi Gras day to hear of Le Courir de Mardi Gras that ran through the countryside around Ville Platte and Mamou and to hear her describe the details of the riders and the ingredients of that gumbo and the foundations of her life – How I would love to hear all of that…now.
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