. . . . here is your answer. I can't possibly express it better than American Zombie, a fellow NOLA blogger did in this beautiful post.
He says what I'm feeling, why I feel it, and why I stay. It's an important piece.
And yes, I hope he's wrong about the inevitability of another Federal Flood, yes, I hope he's being overly pessimistic in terms of the long term sustainability of this city, but when he explains the draw of this place, the reasons we stay, our responsibilities if we stay, he nails it. He GETS it.
I've been sick for three weeks, now on a course of some perfectly awful and incredibly expensive antibiotics. The other day I had to run some errands, so got on my bicycle and resentfully went off to do them. Within a block of riding, my attitude changed. I still felt terrible, and the peddling was hard, but my heart was happy and I was grinning. After an hour, with most of my errands complete, I stayed out, going around on my bicycle, watching people, taking in the smells, watching history go by, feeling a connection to the centuries old footsteps that had walked the corner I was locking my bike up on. For me there is no where else in the United States where I can truly feel that way.
The Zombie put it perfectly. If the Gulf reclaims this land a century from now, it will reclaim my ashes with it.
I'm not leaving.