Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Settlin' Into My Life in St. Croix

Installation Ceremony - December 9, 2012

One of the first things I did upon arriving in St. Croix was to rejoin the Writer's Circle. I had the opportunity to meet with them in February, 2012 when I previously visited. I have since joined a second writers group. This is a short piece I wrote last nite, March 18, 2013:
I Remember the Time

I remembert 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 2nd 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 LaGrande Community. Settling in, my black-southern-work-ethic kicked in 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 birtday parties, and raggae fests and Hanakaa celebrations and carnivals.

I have watched sun sets and a few sun rises, 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 work place 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 grand daughter, Malia and my sister Betty, and my soon-to-be ninety year old mothers 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. Lily 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 state side 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!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ruminations from St. Croix (STX)


L-R Rabbi Maurna Sapsowitz, me (Rev. Dr. Qiyamah A. Rahman) and Tahirah Abubakr.

Too much has transpired to totally catch you up! Just know that I am loving my life in STX. Thank you for your patience. I am starting my seventh month in STX and loving every minute of it!

The above picture was taken December, 2012 at my Installation. I am now officially the minister at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St. Croix.

Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite!


We had a guest speaker talking about a non profit, organization, Alternatives to Violence (AVP) and of course I had to wear my peace stole. We meet at the Jewish Community Center and as a result the Rabbi and I have worked closely on some projects. 


I was fortunate to find a great duplex (two bedrooms) and open space floor plan with a good sized front and back yard. This is a picture of the kitchen taken from the living room. The bedrooms are to the right. Ceiling fans keep me cool most of the time.

Another picture taken from the living room. The furniture is covered because of Ms. Lili who still loves to scratch things. She is now fortunately an outdoor cat and she has takento STX like fish to water. She has lost weight and looks good! No more "chuncky monkey" which I lovingly who call her!


I have started a flower garden which I love working in. I have recently begun a vegetable garden in planters that include tomatoes and kale. On the back porch I have peppermint that is ready to "harvest" and dry!

I live in walking distance from the beach! I haven't caught too many sunrises but the sunsets are gorgeous!


St. Croix - Bigger than Life Beach!


It is not all play in paradise. This is some of the Fellowship members meeting early Saturday morning, February 2nd in a workshop titled, What it Means to Be a Unitarian Universalist. The President, Gail Nealon and I faciltated the workshop. She has been a great asset to the Fellowship and to me as their first paid minister. The Fellowship is 28 years old and I have put them on notice that they should have a bang up anniversary celebration for our 30th year!


Agriculture Fair - Peacocks strutting their stuff! 

February 16-18 The Annual Agricultural Fair (Ag Fair) takes place! It is one of the biggest events on the Island and includes music (I attended the calypso and reggae concerts); animal husbandry; vendors of all kinds; etc. 

I attended with my friend Tahirah and I ate veggie pate, johnny cakes and smoothies and health drinks.  

Welcome to my world!
Blessings! Rev. Qiyamah