Love Lives in Baton Rouge
Traveling eastward, once I hit Texas, the influence of the oppressive humidity coupled with an invitation from friends in Austin who have a beautiful air conditioned home, a pool, and a fantastic real bed made me rethink my tent camping strategy. From Austin, I headed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana where I planned to camp. I remembered that my friends Drew and Robin Patty lived there.
I hadn't seen them in perhaps 20 years and I reached out to see if they wanted to have dinner. They offered up their air conditioned guest house that sits right next to their pool. What's a girl to do??? When a blessing is offered, it should be received. Drew and Robin are the kind of friends who, no matter how long it's been, make it seem like no time has passed since you last saw them. They're the kind of friends that fill your heart.
The news lately has been full of sadness. Just a few days before I arrived, Alton Sterling was killed in front of the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge. For years, I've been a great fan of the work of my friend, Shannon Weber, founder of LoveYou2.org.
Here, in this video Shannon and her 3 children stealthily hang wooden love notes as a way of spreading love. At this point, these notes have been hung all over the world. On this cross-country trip, I brought a few signs along in the event I was inspired to do the same. When I arrived in Baton Rouge, I was compelled to go the the Triple S Food Mart to hang a love note. In front of the store there was a news crew, a shrine honoring Alton Sterling, many cars, and a group of regulars who hang out in front of the store daily. They knew Mr. Sterling and were in great favor of the love note. It now hangs on the front door of the store, where I hope it will stay.
Tender. That's the word I'd describe my interaction with these folks. Particularly, the man in the blue shirt, Larry, touched my heart. When I shared with him where I was from and why I wanted to hang the sign, he cried the most beautiful tears. This of course, caused me to cry. We all hugged and agreed that love and acceptance and communication are the remedies to the atrocities in our world. Let it be.