I was packing my suitcase to leave for Jamaica on my husband’s corporate trip, when I got the invitation to participate in the RR blog challenge, Back to Nature. I noticed that even before our plane departed; my mind was already in motion reminiscing over the breathtaking beauty of Jamaica’s lush gardens from a previous visit in 1993. And although I didn’t intend to participate in this week's challenge, since I’d be away on vacation, I stayed focused on collaborating with the team and their wives. However, nature assimilated me with other plans as well. Shortly after we landed in paradise, those nudges began to waken my senses. As, “listen, this moment is most important. These are the very things that nature is talking back to all of us here.” Still, at that time, I didn’t entertain them. I just hoped to fit in with the people we were staying with at the villa.
We stayed with three lovely couples from the company in a private villa that overlooked the Caribbean. We had breakfast, lunch, and dinner together. Some played golf, tennis, water sports, swam in the pool, shopped, or lay around the white sandy beaches on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. We talked and listened and shared our diverse lifestyles, which really weren’t all that different after all. All the while, we were surrounded in paradise. We were being waited on, literally, by hand and foot, which included body massages, manicures, pedicures, and facial, etc. Our private villa was called Eve Song. We had three personal housekeepers, and a gardener who also took care of the pool for us. However, I couldn’t keep my eyes off one particular housekeeper, Sadie Hazle. She was a person who mostly resembled what a God-like-mother might be. Besides keeping up with her endless chores, she served our meals each day. She moved from one task to another so graciously with a huge smile on her pretty face. She glowed as though she was serving a royal family. Our table was set fitting for a king and with a different set of dinnerware and placemats that matched the occasion for the meal.
I was interested in how this young woman stayed so calm and gracious in her life that was obviously full of servitude. Therefore, at the end of one of our meals, when no one else was around, I asked if she didn’t mind my questions. She responded with a joyful, “It’s an honor!” I asked her if she was married or had a family of her own. Since I knew she was living in the maid's quarters, patiently waiting for us to call on her for service.
She told me an amazing story that I was only too happy to bring here, which has everything to do with nature.
Sadie is only 52 years-old, and was once married and now raises two daughters on her own. Her oldest daughter is away at school. She worked for seventeen years at the Eve Song Villa. This particular villa has become her second home that she takes care of besides her family and home, and the many visitors who come to stay at Eve Song, with whom she serves all with grace. She’s never been off the island, and says she’s quite happy as her life is so full that she wouldn’t have the time to travel elsewhere. Besides taking care of the villa, family, and her home; she sings in a choir at church. She also visits the homeless, sick, and the poor, and makes frequent trips to the prison to bring cheer to those who were forgotten.
I quickly jotted these things down, as she continued graciously moving to her next chore. I went back to my room to shower and dress.
One morning before breakfast, I pointed out over the sea and gardens and asked Sadie if she still relishes the magnificence and splendor of nature that’s all around her, since she’s never been anywhere else in the world to compare it with. She said, “Yes, I see and hear what nature is saying to me all the time! I wake up every morning looking over the Caribbean Sea and the lush green gardens with this prayer, “How great God is! He created for us a wonderful place to live in. Just look at the trees, birds, and the air that is around us, especially the air that can be seen through the breezes of the swaying palm branches. God is so great to give us this beautiful nature for all of us to enjoy - as he created and seasoned the sea with salt and fresh fish for our nourishment, and has given us everything we need to have such a wonderful life. All of this beauty reminds us of His glorious greatness and how much we are loved to season one another.” She then went on to recite Psalm 139:14 “We are fearfully and wonderfully made….” Sadie also said that when she sees the sea roaring, "it is God who is so powerful that calms it. In the same way, it is God who calms our fears.”
After our conversation, I called my husband down for breakfast. In the corner of my eye while the eight of us were gathering, Sadie picked fresh Hibiscus flowers to place on the planters on the coffee tables to brighten the room. Sadie brought the nature of life back to me that calmed any doubt or fear of not fitting in with the rest of our group. That was all through her beautiful smile, serenity, and explanations that penetrated a truth that had touched me so vividly before. At one time, I had a mystical experience. Sadie learned to master it and has been sustained with enlightenment for all of her life through the wonders of nature. She taught me that I can listen and look to them all the time.
I brought her story home in hope to continue to sustain me.
Thank you so much, Sadie Hazle!
Causes Catherine Nagle Supports
Westwind Foster Family Agency, Christian Children's Fund, Compassion International, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Invisible Children, Save the Children