Louisiana Iris Project
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The Rainbow Bridge of Love Between New Orleans and Japan By Tara McKinney
As circumstance would have it, due to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, Inner Sight’s Isha Lerner was forced to postpone a business trip to Tokyo scheduled for the following week. The most unfortunate events in Japan allowed Isha to travel to New Orleans (where I live), instead, for a pilgrimage around Southern Louisiana collecting wild Louisiana Iris essences during the short window of opportunity when they are in peak bloom in late March and early April.Together, Isha and I traveled to an ancient swamp in Abbeville, Louisiana, where four species of Irises have grown side by side and undisturbed over several hundred years. To make a long story short, through the generosity of Bud and Rusty McSparrins, who own and operate a wild Iris sanctuary populated with thousands of Irises from the Abbeville swamp, we were able to gather the precious Louisiana Iris essences that used to grow wild along New Orleans’ canals and bayous (which are now available through our site), which Isha will be sharing with the people of Japan during her month-long visit there, beginning next week (September 21, 2011).
In anticipation of Isha’s Japan trip, I helped prepare a Power Point presentation on the Rainbow Bridge of love connecting New Orleans with Japan. What follows below is the story behind the Power Point presentation, which will be available soon for your viewing pleasure.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana, Japan donated more than 40 million dollars to the relief efforts. Following the 2010 earthquake/tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan, New Orleans and the state of Louisiana returned the love by raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for relief efforts there.
This relationship of mutual concern and support stems from Japan’s long-time love affair with New Orleans’ jazz, as well as with the highly-creative, freedom-loving and indomitable spirit it epitomizes. Post-Katrina, this spirit is amply displayed in the form of the extravagantly colorful Louisiana Irises, which again bloom in abundance as if to offer healing and rejuvenation to a devastated region. In recent years, the rare and endangered iFulva and Abbeville Red, in particular, have been spotted blooming prolifically again in coppery red clumps throughout the Bayou, symbolizing the life force returning to the heart and soul of New Orleans.
Sadly, the magnificent Louisiana Irises are currently in danger of extinction, due to the greed and short-sightedness of corporations intent upon transforming their natural habitat, the marshlands, into sugar cane fields. Under the circumstances, we felt it was important to preserve their spirit in the form of healing flower essences.
Inner Sight associate Tara McKinney resides in New Orleans and feels a strong resonance with the ongoing process of rebirth and renewal that is occurring there in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. In the early spring of 2011, Isha Lerner traveled to New Orleans and met up with Tara to attend the annual Iris Convention, visit the swamp regions of Louisiana and meet expert Iris growers. The goal was to capture the rejuvenating life force of the hardy Irises growing solely in the southern region of the state.
Tara and Isha were fortunate to locate the Iris in its natural habitat and were able to create healing Iris essences for the world at large, but especially for Japan during its time of rebirth and renewal in the aftermath of the earthquake/tsunami and nuclear crisis that had just occurred there.
The potent healing properties of Flower Essences are perhaps best epitomized by the plant signature of the Iris: in particular, the wild Iris of Southern Louisiana. The luminous Iris gets its name from the Rainbow Goddess of Greek mythology. Given the Iris’ rainbow-themed signature, which truly represents the flowering of consciousness in all its multi-hued dimensions, from the deepest depths to the highest heights, it should come as no surprise that Southern Louisiana, the site of recurring cycles of utter devastation and astonishing rebirth over the past 300 years, is known as “Iris Heaven” or “The Center of the Iris Universe.” Much like New Orleans’ human citizens, its Iris community is an amazingly resilient and highly-creative melting pot of iridescent displays.
During our trip we created four special Louisiana Iris flower essences: Abbeville Red/Nelsonii, Red iFulva Bayou, Giant Blue/I. Giganticaurulea and Ashley Michelle Hybrid. We are pleased to have them available to you as well as our Iris Heaven Blend. See below for more information and to order.