Toxic Atmospheres

It’s a sad story. Residents of St. John the Baptist Parish in Louisiana are fighting back after the EPA released findings they have the highest cancer risk in the country – 700 times the national average, according to one study. This would stand to reason given the large plant manufacturing the chemical chloroprene located there. Though one may not be able to see it, the residents say you can feel the toxic atmosphere.
This trend of toxicity is one I’m feeling as I visit many schools and communities around our country. Of course, the roots of which are not found in an external chemical, but rather, a variety of other issues we can’t seem to escape, given the never-ending stream of media coverage highlighting concerns.
I was fortunate to get about a thirty-six hour break from it all when I visited Canada last weekend. As a Cajun boy from the bayous of south Louisiana, it was great to reconnect with my French ancestry. The people were lovely; the atmosphere was relaxed. The trip, though exceedingly short, was quite cleansing.
My detox continued yesterday as I watched two young girls singing my 10 Simple Songs in a recording studio. Their internal, and visibly excited external state exuded all things good and wonderful about life. At one point, one of the girls leaned over to the other in the sound booth giggling, “It’s all so real! It’s like we’re on American Idol or something!” They could not contain their joy and wonder. This, too, healed my soul on a cellular level.
Both of these incidents remind me I need to do a better job of creating my own internal state of health and well-being so I am able to keep whatever external toxicity I might encounter at bay. If I am not proactive about looking for the good, the healthy, and the blessings in my life, I leave myself open to being swallowed up by the negative forces around me. This week is my spring break. Here’s hoping my family, friends and yard provide more sources of inspiration as I continue on my journey. I wish for you the same.