I’ve previously written about how in 2005, on our 10th wedding anniversary, Katrina went over us while we were vacationing in the Bahamas on the island of Eleuthera (Death Ahead, Detour Next Right, Oungan François and Let’s take the free ANW pillow and go). That experience set the stage for us to travel to New Orleans (NOLA) the next year and me attending a conference. The year after that in 2007 we started getting involved with New Orleans Healing Center, an idea to create a community center to promote healing and sustainability in an area that needs it. It’s not just a community center, but a collection of different business, ideas, a street university, food and other things promoting healing and needed services.
For years now, my wife has worked tirelessly, along with dedicated individuals in New Orleans as well as others to make a vision become a reality. We went to meetings, she worked daily. They started out as ideas, salon meetings, hard work and dedication. They worked to secure funding. They worked to make it sustainable. They worked hard.
A couple of times a year we would fly down to attend some of these meetings in person. Saum would have a busy schedule meeting with people, holding interfaith meetings with religious and spiritual leaders. She would go and go and go. Each Halloween, we would help out with the annual party and fundraiser, Anba Dlo. Finally, the hard work was paying off, funding was secured and work began. This May (or June) it is scheduled to open.
March 23rd, a group of them held an open house. It was a chance for people to get a peek of what’s going on behind the construction fences. It went from an old moldering furniture building to a wonderful fantastic building. The old building was ugly. It felt dead.
I remember when we moved out to our farm in 2004, we had a barn. One of our reasons for moving out to the country was to have horses. When we would go out to the barn, it felt empty, unused, dead or maybe just asleep. There was no life in it. After the hard work (mostly by Saum, again), it was transformed. The hay loft was cleaned (she looked like a dust scarecrow when she emerged). The stalls, buckets, tack room and other areas were cleansed. Then the horses arrived, one by one. The place went from no life, to a welcome feeling. There was great living energy that filled the space. It felt alive and welcoming.
Seeing the Healing Center, after years of festivals, construction, people filling that space and remaking it, it has that same good positive energy. It feels alive again. It’s spring and this year, a building is growing again. People have poured hard work, loving detail, blood, sweat and tears into the place. That energy is making it alive again.
The place looks amazing. To find out more about the Healing Center, please follow them on Facebook or follow via Twitter below.