Adrienne and I were worried a couple weeks ago as we looked out into the backyard and saw that our lone mighty oak was still bare of leaves, while the neighbor’s tree was already in full spring bloom. Had this majestic creature succumbed to an especially brutal and weird winter? Were we going to lose a trusted companion and have to foot a very expensive bill to have it removed, lest its unstable corpse topple into our home? Would we be left to gaze upon a suburban hellscape of billboards and highway that this tree had so lovingly obscured for us?

Fortunately, everything’s fine and our tree has finally kicked in and returned to grand form, its foliage an explosion of radiant, green-leafed glory. She just took a minute! I can relate; I myself was a late bloomer, not really coming into full maturity until… well I guess that’s still up for debate.

All jokes aside, it’s a good reminder that we all have our own schedule to keep, our own pace that feels comfortable and healthy. And while our friends, family, and neighbors might seem like they’re ahead or in better shape at the moment, it never helps to look on with envy and anxiety. Sometimes we have to trust our routine—and come out when we’re damn good and ready—especially if the results prove us right.

That’s my deep thought in these early hours of what looks to be another fantastic New Orleans spring. You’ll find in this month’s edition all kinds of stories and perspectives that relay several stages of development, from the up-and-coming kids whose lives are constantly threatened by America’s gun problem, to the grizzled veterans of The Residents, whose journey started in Northern Louisiana many decades ago. So enjoy this issue—and feel free to take your time with it.

DAN FOX | fox@antigravitymagazine.com

top photo of Willy LeQueue performing at the Dirty Dime Peepshow of Allways Lounge by JOSH BURNS

cover photo illustration L. STEVE WILLIAMS