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Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler!

The unofficial motto of Mardi Gras is more than lip service to a celebration. It's the ethos of a culture defined by resilience and jubilation.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

In other words, let the good times roll! Yes, this is the unofficial motto of Mardi Gras that is typically so murderously mispronounced as to be almost incoherent.

To be clear, it is not Mardi Gras season. Far from it, the heat of summer is now beating us all into submission. So why would I bring this up now?

Think fast, I’m going to say a word and I want you to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. Ready?


Alright, what pops into your head? Is it: Mardi Gras, swamp, beignets, alligator, zydeco, voo doo, king cakes, hurricanes (the drink or the storm), crawfish, New Orleans, mosquitos, jazz, or maybe just ‘home’? Or perhaps something along these lines?

That is quite the mixed bag, a lot of good with a lot of the not-so-good.

The state that was French, then Spanish, then French again, and finally American has been through more than its fair share through the centuries. Wars, administrations, diseases, and the weather all came for their pound of flesh, and more than once. Louisianans came out resilient, but perhaps more than anything they know how to make the best out of a bad (or deteriorating) situation.

EBULLIENCE (n): the quality of being full of energy and happiness
EBULLIENT (adj): very energetic, positive, and happy

I can think of no other state that so embodies those definitions.

The bleak nights eventually come for us all…and come hell or high water we have a choice to make. Will we fade into the abyss, rise like a phoenix, or showcase our ebullience and jubilation?

The abyss is the black hole that attempts to pull us in, depleting our energy stores by pure gravitational force. You can only get so close to the abyss before the point of no return.

Rise like a phoenix, that is the dignified way. Rebirth, revitalization…I mean, who can argue with the proverbial guest of honor after any devastating event? But a phoenix, well, can be prone to missing the mark on large scale relatability and perseverance.

That leaves us with ebullience and jubilation, perhaps more often simplified to joy and love. Joy and love actively seek out everyone through all the possible avenues and does so because every attendee is an added ingredient in the pot of gumbo. We are all in this together.

If the world is on fire, add several more pounds of crawfish. Turn up the volume on that dusty old radio and dance like nobody’s watching. Take those ostentatious party clothes out of the back of your closet and wear them with pride. Find a way to laugh when the world does its very best to rob you of life itself.

Louisianans know the tribulations will not end; they will keep coming in waves like the summer that never wants to release its reptilian claws. And since the abyss swallows a chunk, and the phoenix wears out its welcome quickly, there is only one thing left to do.

No, not Mardi Gras. That once-a-year event clearly does not possess enough stamina to carry us through an entire year.

Joy and love are self-evident through art, food, music, culture, history, and yes, parties too. Every aspect of life is singed by intentional passion and positivity. Friendship, compassion, and not being afraid to get your hands dirty are the ethos.

After all, when the red fish are jumping, the jazz band is playing, the étouffée is ready, and you have a cold drink in your hand—you know you can get through anything.

The only thing left to do?

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

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2 Yorum

Michael Anderson
Michael Anderson
16 Tem 2023

Well said! You captured some of Louisiana's unique character in culture and resilience. When life is hard, ces't la vie, and when it is good, ces't si bon!

Holly Bills
Holly Bills
18 Tem 2023
Şu kişiye cevap veriliyor:

Couldn't have said it better! Glad you enjoyed it.

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