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    I wonder if the pelicans know what's happened here. I wonder if they didn't land in the lake because it was so dry. I wonder if they knew that while we may be in a drought, it's actually a respite from the devastation of this summer's rain.

    I wonder if they can pick up on the stress in the air. I wonder if they can tell about the trauma and the exhaustion so many in our state still feel. I wonder if they know the heartache so many in this city feel.

    Every year that I've lived here, the pelicans land in University Lake around All Saints Day. This year, for whatever reason, I didn't see them until the end of November.

    I know they're just birds. I know they have dinosaur brains, but I can't help but wonder if they delayed their migration because they knew how hard it's been. I imagine conversations at pelican families' dining room tables about the state of things in Louisiana. I imagine them deciding as a family to wait a month to see if things calm down - maybe more people will be in their homes, maybe an indictment will be announced, maybe the city will finally pull together for comprehensive police reform. I imagine the pelicans concerns eroding as the weather gets colder.

    I know this isn't real, but one of the ways we make sense of tragedy is to tell stories. This is one of the stories I'm telling. What stories are you telling?                              Reverend Nathan Ryan