©2001 Ruth Lindeck Forman
All Rights Reserved
Greetings from Paradise began as emails to friends and family as my husband, Lee, and I began living our most incredible dream--our move to a tropical paradise, a tiny island called Nevis in the West Indies. God's prized-oval-speck-of-real-estate is a tiny jewel in the leeward islands of the Caribbean. A few of these emails were written in our first season here, November 1999 to July 2000. But most of them, even those within that first year, were in my heart and soul but never journeyed through my fingertips to the computer. When I returned to Los Angeles in August, 1999, I was amazed how many people enjoyed my Greetings from Paradise and used the word inspirational in their comments.
As a small child freezing in the winters of Ohio, Lee was drawn to the warm, breezy, beckoning beaches reading the book, Robinson Crusoe. Also growing up in Ohio, I dreamed of soul-friendlier places. In our second year of marriage in the early 1960's, Lee and I moved to Southern California which then offered hope, adventure, spirit, ingenuity and the gift to be judged on who you were not whose family you belonged to. First, life in Long Beach and then Woodland Hills answered our dreams, but by the mid-70's, life had changed in Southern California and my soul grew restless again. In the late 70's, Lee, our children, Greg, Tamar and Gayle--14, 11 and 7 respectively--travelled to Israel for a visit. I would have easily moved there then, but Lee did not want to and so we remained in California. In the 1980's, we travelled to Oregon which appealed to me, but not to Lee. During this decade, Lee and I also took yearly trips to Europe enjoying the culture, landscape and cuisine; but, it wasn't to be home.
Then in the 1990's, we started travelling to the Caribbean. In1991--by fate--we spent our first days in Nevis. Drawn to its magical charm, we returned year-after-year and after 1993, started bringing down our children and their families one at a time for the next three years. In 1995, after returning to Oregon every summer for the previous five years looking for a place to retire and returning here to Nevis for yearly vacations, with astonishing clarity a vision unfolded.
Our daughter Gayle and Nick--then boyfriend, now husband--were vacationing here with us in December, 1995. Lee and Gayle had walked to the great house for refreshments and Nick was in the room. For more than a half an hour, I sat at the beach, lulled by the quiet motion of the aqua-green sea and revelled in awesome serenity mesmerized by the clouds passing overhead in a tranquillizing, hypnotizing, motion. I felt WOW; this is it!!! Lee has always wanted to move here and even though the heat is a problem physically for me, I have never been more at peace anywhere on this planet. The natural beauty of our isle and the loveliness and friendliness of the people resonated loud and clear within.
Within four days and moments before our farewell, my soul reverberated in a way that it had seldom moved in my life. Less than two hours before departure, I was having breakfast with a friend, Leonard, at the hotel while Lee had gone with the realtor to see a piece of land. I didn't join Lee as I recalled numerous past experiences over the years when we had looked in vain at so many properties. I did not want to waste my last precious moments of this trip in fruitless and disappointing effort. Lee returned to the restaurant, ordered breakfast and declared, "Ruthie, I think that you should go and look at the property." But I said, "No." Leonard and I had started breakfast and I wanted to enjoy my last moments on Nevis. When we finished eating at 9:20--with the boat leaving in 40 minutes--I asked the realtor, "Can you take me to the property and bring me back in 20 minutes?" He said, "Yes." So Leonard, the realtor and I navigated a very bumpy road to the land. The instant that I put my foot on the ground, I received an awesome message flowing down off the mountain behind me from a power that I did not yet understand. With the sea in front and the mountain behind, I knew that my soul was at last going to be home. We bought the land in May, 1996 and broke-ground two and a half years later.
For all practical reasons, I had no business even contemplating this radical move. I had had back surgery in 1987 and a quadruple coronary by-pass in 1989; I am Jewish and was 55 years old. But Lee and I in an unusual sync-of-the-souls embarked on our most profound and happiest adventure. (After we had broken ground in January, 1999, I was to have another triple coronary by-pass to correct replaced veins too large for my small system.) Many of our acquaintances and some of our friends doubted that we would ever pursue Lee's desire to live in paradise and my long-burning quest to find a home for my soul. But, those who knew our spirits never doubted. After several minor complications following my second coronary by-pass and ground-breaking even Lee said, "Ruthie, we can stop anytime you give the word." But, Lee had summed our move in one succinct sentence a few months earlier days after ground-breaking when he called me from Miami en route to Los Angeles while I remained in Nevis. He said, "Ruthie, some people may think that we're crazy for doing this, but you and I know that we're crazy if we don't."
These letters are my gift to you, friend, family and those whom I do not know. I hope they will bring joy, hope, insight, inspiration and touch your heart and soul, prodding you to heed the awakening of your soul and not to fear the stirring within. Just as profound is the wish--that at least once in your life--you are in a place where your soul is truly free and flows to the heavens, sea or earth for that eternal connection with God. Lastly, I wish you the overwhelming joy when you touch and are deeply touched by your fellow humanity.
With love and deep gratitude for all my blessings and praying that you, too, find blessings in your life.
Love and later,
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