Gloomy Covid cloud cannot hide Bermuda's sun of kindness
Five years ago I started a new column, Life Begins at 50, here in The Royal Gazette. During the ensuing years I have written almost 200 articles.
These articles in my column became a vital channel for me to share my insights and feelings, my memories and adventures both with my beloved Bermudians and my incredible husband, Bill, who has worked as tirelessly as I have to help me express what is on my mind and in my heart.
I always want people to smile when they read my articles and feel inspired to try something they never did before.
I wrote my articles not only here in spectacular Bermuda but in many different cities and countries as I travelled: on a schooner in the wild archipelagos of outer Indonesia; in a silent Buddhist monastery in Burma, during a five-month lockdown in Bali; throughout several months at the Tao Garden healing centre in mountainous Thailand; in bustling Hanoi, Vietnam, sitting at coffee shops overlooking the crazy traffic. I even wrote my stories when I went through the pain and trauma of my cancer treatments in Florida.
This time it was very difficult for me to write this article. I am experiencing deep emotional pain and fear. When I hear the wail of ambulance sirens day and night, I know exactly what it means. I close my eyes and pray: “Please stay alive, be strong and fight for your life!”
My heart, my thoughts and my prayers are with those who are losing their loved ones. I am thinking about them even though I don’t know them. My condolences fly like white doves from my heart to the families and friends who are afraid or grieving.
I am so sorry for your great loss. I feel like the whole island is now covered with a dark cloud of sadness and grief.
But that gloomy cloud cannot hide the bright sun of kindness that shines from the Bermudian people.
A couple of days ago, I went to Rock Island Coffee to get my morning latte.
I looked in my wallet and realised I didn’t have the cash to pay for it. A smiling Lisabet Outerbridge, the owner of the shop, was serving me. I told her that I would run to the ATM machine and get cash. She laughed and said: “Don’t worry! Bring money next time.” I smiled back and said with appreciation: “Thank you very much!” That is life in Bermuda.
Then I became curious.
“Do you offer this to everyone?” She tilted her chin up and nodded: “Yes. I have faith in people. I believe in their honesty. It is an unwritten company policy and every one of my employees does the same.”
A well-dressed Bermudian gentleman was next after me. He heard our conversation and said: “I will pay for your coffee then you will pay for someone's coffee!”
I laughed. “Yes, let’s start a coffee chain!”
Charles, if you read this newspaper, thank you one more time.
These two small and heart-warming gestures of kindness from complete strangers in the space of a few moments brought tears to my eyes.
I looked down at a new message: “Nina, just to let you know I have your mother and yourself in my prayers.”
My wonderful friend, Catherine Ann Smith, from the Coral Beats drumming female band was thinking of me.
The heartfelt, golden qualities of Bermudians, their generosity and friendliness, their loving, caring attitudes are helping us survive this grim time.
Everywhere I look I see empathy and support flourishing on this stony ground.
And I know, the dark cloud will pass.
Dear readers, out of sadness and adversity will bloom the trembling flowers of hope and happiness. Shower each other with love and compassion and the silky petals of a new future will unfold in that gentle rain.
Nina London is a certified wellness coach, Qigong teacher and laughter leader. Her mission is to support and help cancer patients and survivors and inspire mature women to make positive changes in their body and mind. Share your inspirational stories with Nina at www.ninalondon.com and follow her on Instagram @coachninalondon