March 16, 2013 – Arriving in St. Croix – March 2021

One of the first things I did upon arriving in St. Croix was to rejoin the Writer’s Circle. Much of my writing is research based. However, I had the opportunity to use a “stream of consciousness” technique that is sometimes referred to as “automatic writing” where you put pen to paper and do not lift it until a designated time has transpired. Ours was one hour. This is what I wrote March 18, 2013 in that one hour:

I Remember the Time

I remember the time when I decided to magically love myself to paradise.

It was February, 2012 and I was two weeks into my visit as guest minister at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St. Croix. I knew in the second week that I wanted to live and work in St. Croix. It felt so natural and I felt at home. It felt like a place that I could make a life. It took me five months, but I returned for good with my cat, my car, my clothes and some of my books.

I remember the time when I decided to magically love myself to paradise.

The plane landed and Will Franks was waiting to pick me up and help me begin my new life in his apartment in the LaGrange Community. Settling in, my black-southern-work-ethic kicked into gear and my euro-centric task-oriented get-the-job-done me was at the Labor Department that first week talking with my job counselor who I had corresponded with over the summer.

And I was job hunting and apartment hunting like there was no tomorrow.

Meditating and visualizing and engaging my spirit so I would not get anxious and afraid.

I have friends; I have a life with a growing garden, a quirky landlord and a lovely duplex unit…

I have attended birthday parties, and reggae fests and Hanukkah celebrations and carnivals.

I have watched sunsets and a few sunrises, walked along the beach in my bare feet and played tag with ocean waves at tide.

I have sat with dying patients and comforted family members and endured endless staff meetings and created a violence-free workplace for myself.

I have watched the ocean waves roll in and laid listening to the soft and quiet sounds of the night ocean and heard gun shots and sirens.

I remember the time when I magically loved myself to paradise.

And found a Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists that appreciate me and might even love me a little bit.

A small Fellowship filled with individuals that have hopes and dreams that some share twice a month in Joys and Concerns that we say mostly in silence, but I speak aloud the name of my granddaughter, Malia, and my sister, Betty, and my soon-to-be ninety-year-old mother’s name, and my patients’ names.

The choir sings hymns, some familiar and some not so familiar, and the musician plays the preludes and postludes and offertory hymns mostly from the classical tradition and each week I pray for inspiration and the right mood and tone to guide the prevailing Spirit amongst us.

That someone who came wondering if their life was making a difference — leaves knowing it is, if to no one but them — and that’s all right.

That someone who came hoping to be inspired leaves with a growing glimmer that their life is good and their hope is renewed.

That someone finds a kind face, a gentle smile, a reassuring hug or a shoulder to lean into.

I remember the time when I magically loved myself driving down the “superhighway” that I take twice a day from Frederiksted to Christiansted and at the end of each day my cat, Ms. Lili greets me: How was your day and can you get my food — pronto!

Ms. Lili is now an outdoor cat that is mastering her environment including the visiting cat that thinks it’s alright to steal her food and drink her water. She is not her friend and she and Ms. Lili fight. The visitor is lean like most Crucian cats and Ms. Lili is fat and well-fed like most stateside pets.

I remember the time when I magically loved myself as I garden year round and tend my house and sit quietly on my porch swing and wonder at my good fortune and…

I remember the time when I magically loved myself to St. Croix!