“A very Merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear.” – John Lennon
While I do not have snow and ice to contend with, it’s been a blustery, damp December in Dominica. Yesterday, the Nature Island received a deluge of heavy rain that caused flash floods ,landslides and plenty of mud underfoot! Even my neighbourhood was not spared, and I watched in amazement as torrents of water washed away parts of the main road, leaving hefty stones, broken pavement and overflowing gutters in its wake. I did not even attempt to go to ‘town’.Roads were blocked, bridges broken, houses dislodged and slick streets held no appeal for me on Dominica’s traditionally lengthy shopping day. You can see more storm photos on Dominica News Online and The Dominican.Net
So today, I consider myself to be storm-stayed, although others are moving about. For now, I will enjoy the peace and tranquility of a Christmas afternoon, as the sun bravely peeks through the clouds. Although I am missing out on a grand Christmas dinner in the mountains with a number of friends, I did not want to take my little car through remaining obstacles on the roadways. (Yes, crews are working hard to clear them, but they’ve got loads of ground to cover all over the island…) Tomorrow, I’ll go out to the main street in my neighbourhood and clear away the bigger rocks that do not pose a problem for larger SUV’s. I’ll take on this laborious task because I love my little green car, nicknamed “The Button”. It takes me almost everywhere – and thankfully big storms are few and far between!
And then – the lack of water issue – of course all the intake valves are blocked and had to be shut down for cleaning. The little holding tank in my backyard is good for a bucket or two, so far.
But if it’s still off by
tomorrow morn, I’ll head down to a hotel for a shower – after I’ve cleared those rocks away from the road! Thankfully, the electricity is back on today, and the temperature is more than 20 C, so I am happy for what I have. I send thoughts and prayers to all of you “up north” who have various weather challenges this holiday season. As my mother and others would say, “This, too, shall pass.”
Of course, I’ve had some fun too. And more details will follow in the next blog post. As warm-ups to this special season, I hosted some friends with sweets and treats over tea. I always enjoy baking Christmas goodies every year, as this craft enables my goodwill to grow. Because of the inclement weather, I haven’t delivered all of my goodie plates yet. It’s not a concern because there are still eleven more days of Christmas after this one!
Christmas would not mean so much to me without music, and this year was no exception. In the damp drizzle of the evening of December 19th, In A Chord, the 4 part female vocal ensemble in which I sing Alto 1 was honoured to perform as guests of Dominica’s renowned “Music Lovers” Government Band. We sang our hearts out in Sing We All Noël and Carol of the Bells. Our Director, pianist Leng Sorhaindo brilliantly accompanied us on a sophisticated and melodious electronic keyboard. Instrumentalist Pious Jno Baptiste perfectly harmonized with us, first on the sopranino recorder and then he took up the steel pan, where he created the bell-like tones that blended with the keyboard’s in the second piece. I always enjoy the sing-along with the Band too, because they play many of my favourite old-time carols and I still know almost all the words by heart! It was a wonderful concert, which really added to the tidings of joy that I felt emanating from the audience and musicians alike.
And what would the Yuletide be without a pause for personal reflection and thoughtful immersion in the truest sense of the season? These two “storm” days have permitted me some “down-time” to do just that. Perhaps you’ve had a chance to do the same – no matter what the weather in your part of the world.
In any event, I sincerely wish a “Happy Christmas to all – and to all a Good Night!“