Going back to Bermuda (known to locals as ‘de rock’, or ‘the rock’ that the islands are, all alone in the mid-Atlantic) for an unplanned visit was not what I was expecting to do at the start of January, although nor was attending a funeral for a grandfather. Nonetheless, it was wonderful to be reunited with my immediate family two months sooner than planned and reconnect with Bermudian relatives whom I rarely see. As the first funeral I had ever attended, I am happy that it was for a close relative in Bermuda because family is family, because I had not seen most of the attendees in a long time, and because we do things a bit differently for the burial part on ‘my island in the sun’ (my favourite line from our national song).
After such an enriching experience living in Peru and working in new ‘shantytown’ neighbourhoods on the outskirts of a sprawling city with a desert-climate, it was almost surreal to be back in Bermuda. Having grown up there, most people and places still have their way of feeling very familiar. In general, the scenery is very green and full of colourful flowers year-round, thanks to a sub-tropical climate. Yet not only are places familiar, but the traditional architecture, old limestone walls and well maintained hedges–not to mention a permanent abundance of boats in the clear waters– make it a very beautiful place. This is your first view when you fly in…
A little secret: Once when arriving in Bermuda, a flight attendant told me off for using my camera, an electronic device, during landing.
I obediently turned it off and slipped it in the case, only to immediately return to taking photos once no longer visible to the flight attendant, who essentially walked down the aisle scolding what sounded like every other person for also daring to snap photos. I understand that rules are rules and that they are usually made for worthy reasons (and I usually do follow them), but I do not think the operations of any normal digital camera would interfere with the signals required for take-off or landing, such as a cell phone or laptop might. Do correct me if I am wrong.
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Certain places, roads, rural paths, parks, my grandparents’ home and the beach near it will always be ingrained in me. I always lived in a different parish from that of most of my relatives, but my grandparents’ house in particular is a place where I have countless memories. It is always a privilege to be able to return to the familiar sounds of the Kiskadee bird, the colourful Bermudian architecture, the narrow winding country roads of the archipelago and the comforting sounds of the Bermudian tree frog in harmony with the hypnotizing ocean waves as a lullaby to drift away to sleep to each night.
I couldn’t help but think how lucky I was to be ‘home’ in the haven that is Bermuda. I am used to being asked by just about anyone outside of Bermuda why on earth my family would have chosen to move from there, and while there are valid reasons and I am glad that we did move,
when I simply take in the natural beauty of the place,
that same question does pop in my head.
Grape Bay Beach (in Paget parish) on a not-so-sunny winter day, but yet it is still a paradise.
This beach is named after the tree with the round leaves just behind the hedge in the picture,
known locally as the Bay Grape (or Seagrape) and used to make tasty jams and jellies, definitely worth trying.
Thank you for reading.