Last year was a year of firsts.
Two of them revolved around Bermuda.
My first cruise, and my first time in Bermuda.
A place I had dreamt of, and last year the dreaming and the waking met. And it was all I could want and more. Much of the more was wondrous, but some of it, a bit, felt mournful, and bitter sweet, and touched with something not unlike dread.
Don’t get me wrong, Bermuda is a ravishingly beautiful island, and I enjoyed immensely my cruise, and enjoyed immensely Bermuda. It’s pull on you is strong and deep and abiding, and there is a reason Ex-pats make Bermuda their home. No one goes to Bermuda and does not feel the forlorn desire to make one of its lovely pastel colored, and tropic of capricorn tinged, houses… theirs.
Buf it is a desire mitigated typically by two things. One is well known and rational: finances. Bermuda, I knew even before arriving, is an expensive place to live.
But the 2nd reason people have for not calling Bermuda home, is one probably few ever put into words, or look at too closely… and one I myself did not know until being in Bermuda… but it is the sense of the world as being too close to you and ineffably too far.
Something too subtle and lightly felt to be called fear, but there is something about the isolation of Bermuda and the endless encroachment of the sea, and the pervasiveness of the sky, that makes you aware of the precariousness and preciousness of life.
Bermuda is an island that has been shrinking for thousands of years, the peak of a massive volcanic eruption that was born when man was but a dream. Recent rising tides, perhaps tied into global warming and the melting of the polar icecaps, are rising faster, and today an island that once was over 200 square miles in landmass, is down to 27 square miles. Less depending who you believe.
To stand on an empty, craggy Bermuda beach and look out at the relentless sea, is to feel the turning of the world, and the ephemeral nature of the works of man. We will all return to the sea eventually, no matter where we live; it is just that on Bermuda ‘eventually’ feels closer.
That and the fact that the small grouping of islands called Bermuda is 700 miles away from everything and virtually everything Bermuda requires has to be shipped in, and suddenly the paradise that is Bermuda, gives way to the eerieness of the Bermuda Triangle.
I dreamt of Bermuda, and I dream of it still, those pink sands, and blue skies, and pastel houses, but my dreams now are of returning to visit; Living there long term is not for me.
But that is what Bermuda is best at, giving you the moment… the dream.
I dreamt of Bermuda.
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“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.” - E. Gilbert
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