April, 2001
Nevisian Paradise
Garrick's Pasture
Nevis, West Indies

Greetings from Paradise
"You Are Never Alone"

Dear Ones,

Hope all is well. It is good to hear from you and what is happening in your lives. With Lee in Los Angeles again, people both in the States and here on Nevis often ask me, "Are you lonely?" I think of Lee often and at times I miss him. With Lee on island or in the States, I am never lonely.

I continue to count my blessings daily, grateful to live life so fully engaged because of the love of my family and friends throughout the planet, the beauty that envelops me and the people that God created here. Last year, I didn't have TV, didn't have cable, often didn't have electricity and never have a certainty of when anything will happen and yet I am spiritually connected and content. People here often don't show up when they say they will and others "pop in" as a goodwill gesture to say "good morning, good afternoon and good evening." We can't go anywhere that within three minutes, someone doesn't honk in friendly gesture, greet, "Hello, Ruth" or "Hello, Lee" or wave hi. A month ago, we just had just returned from the beach when Maria was walking--or bumping on our pocked road--Mandela in his stroller. He had been fussy so we invited her in for Mandela's first visit to our home. (Mandela is Sunshine and Maria's new son and so has a special place in our heart.) As I held and talked with Mandela, he calmed down and we had a grand old time grinning at each other. Another occasional visitor are Sharon, Shanreka and Andy, the fed-ex supervisor here on Nevis. (Lee had a fed-ex delivered to him right on the beach, dripping wet from a swim at Sunshine's, our local beach hangout. Sorry that I didn't have a camera; it was definitely a photo-op for fed-ex.)

The last Sunday of April, Lee and I had planned to go to Sunshine's but in rained and misted all day. About a quarter till five in the afternoon, I said to Lee, "I haven't seen Mandela in awhile, I am going to call Maria and see if she is home so we could stop by. She wasn't home so I left word on her answering machine. Within fifteen minutes, I heard a honk outside and it was Maria and Mandela. I said, "Did you get my message?" She said, "No, I hadn't seen you or Lee in awhile and so I just stopped by." So we had another lovely Sunday afternoon visit and talked about Maria and Sunshine's property-only three lots away-where they will break ground in a few months. I look forward-God willing--to Mandela's walking through our purple gate in a few short years.

        Mandela and I having a ball.                                        Maria holding Mandela

Shani, Sharon and Andy.

Usually daily in Lee's absence, Infatari, our eight-year-old neighbor comes over and my friend and catty-corner neighbor, Veronica and I either see each other or chat by phone. In the morning, her husband Kenneth ties their goats to a shrub in the surrounding pastures and my neighbors Brian and Dee all greet me before they leave for work with "Good morning," or "How are you?" while I do my morning combo stretch-tai chi-yoga on the front verandah. I know that I can always go to them if I need anything.

Kenneth tying goats in field below                 One of my favorite shots
us before he goes to work.                           of Brian and Dee Dee taken
                                                                    last year.

During the day, I am very busy with chores, watering, shopping, cooking, exercising emailing, and writing. I do find time to go to Sunshine's for a swim and visit or to paradise beach for a swim and solitude, watch the sunsets daily and visit or have visitors. There is always someone looking out for me, not in a meddlesome way but truly concerned. "Lady, your tire looks low," "Your shoelace is untied" are said by perfect strangers. Once when I was in our bedroom meditating I sneezed. Infatari was on her front verandah across the way and should without being able to see me, "God bless you." And so it goes.

And in those in between times, there are usually a gecko here or there to be found. I am fascinated by them, their color and playfulness. They love to hang around on the rafters above the front verandah. In fact, when I do my morning stretches, I can always look up and find at least one that is hangin' out and keeping its eye on what I am doing. There have been times when Lee and I are sitting eating a meal and there are five of them on the beams just cruising around or relaxing. It seems the more mellow we are, the more geckos there are in their beautiful shades of green. Below are some of the photos of the geckos taken in our orchard, on the climbing rocks or just hanging on the rafters above where I do my morning ritual.

Gecko in orchard on rock.            Beautiful colors.                                    Cool! Maybe it's
                                                                                                                 clearing it's throat?

         I love to see the green of            Ditto on the green and              Without fail, there is a
         the gecko on the purple              purple, and there goes              gecko watching me every
         railing.  It took me over              the throat.                                 morning as I stretch.  I often
         a year to get this picture!                                                            wonder who entertains whom.

When Lee is out of town, Shirley usually calls to see how I am. We have known her and John ten years already. When I miss Lee, I just have to step outside. With the stars overhead, the clouds drifting by, the sea glistening in front, the mountain's usually clouded dome ever changing behind, the birds singing, the donkeys braying, the rooster croaking, geckos scurrying and God's constant presence, I haven't felt frightened, alone or lonely. When I wake up and miss Lee, I step out on the back verandah and look up at the mountain with the moon often hangin' around, or on the side porch overlooking our long-deserted, overgrown, but newly cultivated orchard and look up to see a new moon hangin' above or on the front verandah where the half moon often hangs over the sea as if lying in a cradle and sending its silvery shimmering light softly upon the darkened waters below. There is always a creature speaking in its own voice and call, stars above or clouds that veil them, the breeze a whispering or howling, so I am never alone. Hope this finds you never alone but comforted by God's presence or one of God's gifts.

Love and later,