New Orleans is a lot of things to a lot of people. I think it's safe to say it has quickly become one of my favorite places to just be. Real, raw jazz, cuisine beyond compare, raucous Bourbon St in the French Quarter, antiques, art, architecture and trolley cars.
But the perception of New Orleans doesn't prepare you for the light. It seems to be the city of chandeliers.
Much like the city itself these treasures show themselves in unexpected locales. And they are stunning in the variety of shape, size and sparkle - in hotels, bars and restaurants, on Royal St. and in obscure little alley cafes.
electrical fixtures - it radiates from the smallest of spaces.
It radiates in the glow that falls onto the sidewalk in the form of a trumpet note that is held onto forever. It's the feel of the city that sinks into your soul.
But the true heart, the true center of New Orleans comes from the inhabitants that stood by her in oil spills, hurricanes and seemingly insurmountable loss. The buildings show their scars in all their beauty - proudly and in defiance of what the world has cast upon them.
Showing their light from within that they are alive, living, breathing in every moment, celebrating life with it's good, bad and all that's in between.
The true heart lies in the people of New Orleans. In their resilience, fortitude and grace. There is a silent understanding of loss in the fervent desire to come back. Back to the beauty that is New Orleans. I learned a lot in my brief visit to the city. I witnessed a light that came from many sources to create a visual sound. The sound of color, the feel of music, the warm air that envelopes your skin and fills your pores with the simple joy of taking in each breath.
Now that is living truly. And truly living each day.