Originally from Louisiana, I call New Orleans my home. It was truly the city of becoming for me. I moved to Denver, Colorado in 2004, a year before Hurricane Katrina devastated my beloved home.

I was spared the fate of living through the aftermath of that storm which resulted in the breaching of the levees in the 9th Ward. For about 6 weeks I had no contact with anyone, friends or family, as communication towers were still down. Not knowing who was alive, dead, who got out, or who had to be airlifted, well, that was a dark 6 weeks even though I wasn’t immediately in the middle of it.

After moving to Colorado, I went to school and became a nurse. Then in 2007 I took initial Buddhist monastic vows, and then final profession in 2009.

Colorado is a beautiful state, even ranked the healthiest state in the US. Funny thing is I actually gained weight since moving here! In New Orleans, I never had a car. I walked everywhere I could, or I rode the street car. Sometimes I called a cab if time was of the essence. Here in Denver, like most everyone else, I drive everywhere. Oh how I miss the days I spent standing in the humidity waiting for that trolley car to rattle by!

So now I work as a nurse in a hospice setting, writing in my spare time, dreaming of returning to New Orleans, all the while tending to an expanding flock of rescued felines.

(Rigpa Dorji)

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