The moonlight on the bayou
A Creole tune that fills the air
I dream about magnolias in bloom
And I’m wishin’ I was there.
“Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans,”
As I look out over my friends’ backyard, the moon floats over the bayou.
The air feels heady.
And seemingly everyone I could’ve ever wished into existence is standing, right there, amidst the grass and the crawfish boil tables and the twinkling lights in front of me.
Two weeks ago, I returned to New Orleans for a whirlwind weekend of running and parades and naps by the bayou and reconnecting with friends. On the last day, I returned to the Bayou and found several new letters and an empty notebook (!). Here is the letter I left in the notebook:
There are more elaborate, more poetic, more profound ways of putting all of this but right now, I just want to write everything IN ALL CAPS:
BECAUSE I AM HOME AND GET TO EAT FLAKY PASTRIES AND HUG MY FRIENDS AND DRINK MIMOSAS ON PLAYGROUNDS AND PLAY SHARKS AND MINNOWS WITH HUNDREDS OF TINY HUMANS AND SIT NEXT TO THE BAYOU AND JUMP OUT FROM BEHIND DOORS AND SHRIEK WITH DELIGHT AT SEEING ALL OF THESE PEOPLE WHOM I HAVE MISSED SO SO MUCH AND Y’ALL!! I AM HOME.
Weird happy hand dances 4 dayz.
Yesterday was one of those days where I missed New Orleans more than most.
It doesn’t happen as often anymore– not pangs of heart-pulls. Not moments of dizziness.
Just random moments that seem to pop up out of thin air and make me miss the tiny things:
“So when do you think you’re going to start missing New Orleans?”
We’re in the car, riding on a high of McDonald’s french fries and almost 900 hours of summer camp. The music is pulsing, reverberating, through the bones of the car. Mississippi pine trees go by in a blur, the sun as well. My fingers tap against the window, feet slung up onto the dashboard, head bopping from side to side. I’m humming along absentmindedly to some summer anthem, making up words, picking at my split-ends, dotting mosquito bites with my fingernails.
To the Krewe of the 504th:
This is how I feel when I get to run with y’all:
This is how I feel because of the impact you’ve had on my life–
each and every one of you crazy runners:
This is how I feel, knowing now the power running has to ignite change and to bridge the gap between different people, places, and communities:
And this is how I feel leaving y’all after this final crew run before heading North for a while:
Thank you thank you thank you for welcoming me into the BTG Familia and for somehow always *magically* sending out some crew love whenever I need it most.
See y’all in Chicago for Marathon Sunday!
❤ ❤ ❤ Kat
After approximately 888 hours amidst the Mississippi mud and mosquitos, here’s what I’ve learned from a place where I’ve spent the past 3 summers dancing, running, singing, and throwing face paint around:
*Formally known as Juan’s Flying Burritos
Burritos all day
Margaritas through the night
Heart, so v full
Dear Magnolia Studio (and all of the lovely glowing people within),
Thank you for being more than a space or a place– thank you for being a refuge.
Thank you for being a place where my body, and any body, can enter feeling welcomed and at ease.
Sometimes I wish I could take what I’m seeing– the exact curvature of the sky, the faint rippling of the water, the line of light casting shards and shadows– and be able to record it.
Not with a camera or binoculars or a video– but real time.
Exactly through my eyes.
Through the squinting of my pupils.
There are certain moments where I find myself pausing and thinking to myself, “Wow. Wouldn’t it be great if I could remember this moment, right now, for the rest of my life?”
Watching the sun rise over the Mississippi was one of those times.