For as long as I can remember Mardi Gras has been my favorite holiday. It started long before I knew anything of beads or Bourbon Street. Long before I knew where NOLA was or what debauchery was–it was an innocent affinity. Growing up our church always had a Mardi Gras party. There were pancakes, crowns/necklaces/masks, candy, and the best music around. The Naptown Strutters would always come and play–I really do miss Tom and his crew playing. And there was always dancing.
When I was really young, our Associate Minister’s husband always led the dancing. Whether a mambo-line/jelly roll, or what I fondly remember as “the broom dance”. All of the kids would run around and dance without fear. It was wonderful. This annual evening marks some of my favorite and earliest memories of community. When I was a teen, our Associate Minister has moved on. Me being me meant that I took up the torch of leading the dancing from then through High School. Once I left for college, I never really had the opportunity to go back for Mardi Gras. I miss it: the noises, and smells, and people. But I’ve found new ways to celebrate.
For me it means donning green, purple, and gold each year. It means engaging in some sort of frivolity for myself (whatever that looks like in the moment). It means preparing myself for Lent. I love Mardi Gras, I’m sure I always will. I’m thankful for the community and lessons it has instilled in me over the years.
Laissez les bon temps rouler.