First Day of New Millennium, 2000
Nevisian Paradise
Garrick's Pasture,
Nevis, West Indies

Greetings from Paradise
"Sharing Millennium Wishes and Dreams"

Dear Friends and Family,

A very Happy New Year, New Decade and New Millennium. Hope all is well with all of you. Enjoy hearing what is happening in your lives across the seas. Our son, Greg, his wife Karen and our "grand" Rebecca arrived among the mud for the holiday and millennium celebration. After an arduous trip of four ascents and descents, they arrived in a six-seater puddle-jumper from St. Kitts at midnight to where Lee had taken an earlier ferry this afternoon to greet them. It was a thrill to have our first visitors and we looked forward to sharing life with them--Nevisian style. Swimming in the sea, snorkeling, horseback riding, summiting the peak of Mt. Nevis were in the plans. I participated in the swimming, dancing and snorkeling though lingered behind for the horseback riding and summiting. We were certainly mighty proud of seven-year-old Rebecca as she returned unscathed, proud and covered in mud from the mountain peak sojourn. Meeting new friends, hangin' with the locals, devouring roti made at the local bar and just relaxing and swimming at Sunshine's were the children's delight.

With our children here, Lee and I decided that it would a wonderful time to put up our mezuzah. As there is no Rabbi-or Jewish synagogue other than one that is three hundred years old and buried under the administration building--we asked our spiritual leader on Nevis, Pastor Douglas, if he and Naomi could come and say the prayers and give the blessings for our new home. Pastor Douglas, who has been to the Holy Land several times, is a very learned, gentle man with much knowledge about Judaism. Often, Lee, he and I discuss some portion of the old Testament. When Lee and I need to feel a part of a spiritual community, we join Pastor Douglas in the Pentecostal Church whose services with their incredible gospel music invoke a deep belief and connection with God and our fellow humanity. Knowing that we are Jewish, Pastor Douglas, asked for God' blessings and protection for Lee and I, our family and our new home.

Our children also celebrated their tenth anniversary so the five of us gondolad up a small mount for a lovely dinner surrounded by Nevisian scents under star-lit skies. The following night, we dined at home and joined others at Sunshine's to herald the new millennium. Sunshine's Bar and Grill is like a Cheers on the Beach. It holds a special place for Lee and I as it is our home-away-from-home when on Nevis. This evening was no different-special as always-with the Sunshine charm and very friendly staff. The night was brilliant with a jet-black sky again bejeweled by the clusters of light which hung suspended in the sky as our planet makes it annual trek nodding at the various constellations. Music, comradery and family were much to be grateful for. The Four Seasons Resorts' brilliant fireworks to welcome the new millennium was not to happen this year because of hurricane Lenny, but Sunshine's bonfire made up for the warmth. I will never forget our granddaughter, Rebecca, in her hot pink pedal-pushers and matching sweater etched on the back with 2000, spirals and balloons. Barefoot, safe and happy, she played with other children and raced the waves back and forth at sea's edge. Greg and Karen were tired, so they left after midnight hugs and kisses and Lee, Rebecca and I remained till 1:00am. I, too, went to water's edge and gazed around in awe at where we were with the sea and stars meeting each other on the horizon. To the right, our sister island St. Kitts sits all lit up in red, white and green lights, looming three miles away across the sea; behind us the mountain in its darkness and to the left around the bend a few miles away, Charlestown, our capital reflects its light.

On the way home, we stopped at the Fergusons' for a hug and New Year's well wishes. Kenneth and Veronica were watching television and the passing of the microphone from time zone to time zone as the celebration traveled west around the world. (We did not have TV yet as the cable had not been installed in our area of the mountain.) I felt a sense of universal sharing of a monumental event with hopes of peace and promises of better tomorrows. My thoughts and prayers went out to you as well. Veronica mentioned that Pastor Douglas was taking a musical crusade around island in a few hours and asked if Rebecca wanted to join in. Rebecca said "yes" (don't know where she gets her energy). So we came home and went to sleep, it was after 2:00am. At 7:00am, I woke up to the music and a gospel song about "climbing higher and higher" as the caravan slowly moved up the mountain. I stood there soaking it all in, feeling goose bumps while enveloped in this awesome moment. A few minutes later, Quincy, Veronica's son came over with a note asking if Rebecca wanted to join in the parade. I awoke her and of course Rebecca wanted to go. She left with Veronica a few moments later and we told her we would meet her after the parade returned from Barnes Ghaut down to Cottonground on its all-day crusade around the island bringing the word of the Lord. When Greg, our son, Lee and I met up with Veronica and Rebecca, Rebecca already was wearing a new year's hat given to her by one of the local children. He came and proudly told me that he had given Rebecca his hat. Greg, too, was moved by the music glaring from the loud speakers and moving those who were listening in a sense of community. We returned to our home, tired but happy again for the joyous experience of sharing life with the local Nevisians.
 

                    
       Granddaughter, Rebecca, celebrating the                                        Lee, Rebecca and Ruth on the
        Millennium at Sunshine's on the beach.                                         Millennium Eve at Sunshine's.

And so I leave you all with a sense of global community for we are truly all part of the same planet. Again all the best for the new year, decade and life.

Love and later,
Ruth