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An Afternoon Escape

It was an adventure, every time, to walk through the bushes that began just beyond the backdoor of the kitchen. The path began just behind the galvanized tubs my mother washed our clothes in. I ducked beneath the laundry on the line and I was gone, following forest ways where the goats and monkeys had bent boughs and branches and where the water had made ruts in the earth. I’d slip away to play, before my mother could call out chores, and spend my afternoon stalking Zenaida doves in the tangled wood. As I moved farther from the house the wispy vines and nettles gave way to broader leaves and the trees became taller. The color of the earth changed too, marking where the mountain began.

The paths lead up to a high hilltop field that had been cleared long ago for grazing and where ponds had been dug for water. There were ancient stone walls and the ruins of animal pens where bees had made their hives. Lost in the soil were broken bits of pottery and rusted debris that told the story of a village from long ago. Amidst the pale grass were scattered white cattle bones, and overall the smell of arid earth and honey.

The other day, to see if I still knew the way, I set out to find the old field. I took my family with me, though I feared the ponds might have dried up, or filled in with the silt of the years that had passed since I was a boy. I feared my children would grow tired before we found what we were looking for and that we’d turn back with them wondering why I had led them up the mountain at all. But my daughters ran ahead of me, like children chasing fairies, like I used to chase the doves, and they found on their own the pools that I remembered, and the pools were still filled with pink lilies.

Caribbean Strong – Nevis

Nevis was very fortunate, we suffered minimal damage. The ancient saman tree in the town square was blown over, a few other trees have been lost and our beaches have been strangely rearranged but it is nothing that can’t be repaired with time and tide. With village names like Hardtimes and Burden Pasture, Nevis has known many challenges.We are not strangers to the storm.

Don’t You Agree?

After a trip away, I’ve just returned to these sweet charms of Nevis, the warmth of hospitality and the embrace of friends.

My Nevis Perspective

The best way to survive as a hotelier on a remote island with difficult logistics is with patience and a sense of humor.

Hermitage Newsletter December Edition

Interestingly, a celebrity magazine shoot shared the property with a crew of geothermal miners. We can’t say which group was the more tantalizing and filled us with anxious delight at the possibility of unearthing a deeply hidden treasure.

Experience of the Caribbean

Some days are clear Caribbean skies and placid, turquoise, clear seas that reflect the frigate birds and passing clouds; some days are faded yellow from the Sahara dust that drifts across the Atlantic, some days are rain, hard bullet-like tropical rain...

Covered in vines

There are little wooden houses on the island of Nevis and many are covered in vines. They were built 100 hundred years ago, in a tradition that was handed from master carpenter to apprentice, one generation to the next. Their beams are pegged together with...

The Pink House History

My mother lives in a Pink House, the house that we built for her mother, my grandmother, who we called Muzzy.

The Ocean’s View

Where the water meets the shore is the edge of the world, either in the rough collision of waves against rocks that tells the story of resistance and erosion or in the soft lapping and gentle wash that dresses the sand, with a fringe of foam like lace. The...

Leave Her As She Is

Over coffee in the mornings he spoke about it, at the bar in the evenings he promised to restore it. 

Summer days

The summer time is true to the heart of island living, with fewer tourists and expats, the buzz of visitors subsides. The days are longer and the nights are cool and refreshing. We spend more time in the evenings sitting outside, and I find myself looking...

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