Saturday, November 19, 2005

Colorful bead necklace

My daughter went to a birthday party the other night at a bead store. This is the kind of thing girls are doing nowadays—they have a party at a place where everyone gets to make and take something.

She came home with a necklace. It has a dime-sized silver flower in the middle, and glass beads all the way around. The beads are a mixture of blues, whites and off-whites that appear to be placed at random.

Now, some children might want to make a pattern, lining up the beads in a regular, orderly arrangement. But not my girl.

So I even said to her, “Hey, I like how you mixed up the beads in your necklace.”

And her response floored me.

She said, “Yes, I wanted it that way. I like the colors to be all mixed. It reminds me of New Orleans."

I was speechless, and proud. I don’t know how, but even at her age, she understands.

She understands that New Orleans is different because the people are different. She understands that the people who live next door, and down the street, are different from us, and different from each other. And she knows that this is a good thing.

She sees the beauty in this colorful painting called the Crescent City, and understands why it is superior to a flat, monochromatic canvass. And while she was stringing those colorful and different beads together, she recognized how each bead’s uniqueness contributed to the strength and beauty of the whole.

She’s a New Orleanian, no doubt of that. I hope New Orleans in the future will meet or exceed her expectations.

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