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So small and so special

My favourite view of Bermuda is from the air.

When I take off or land I feel a deep thrill as the endless canvas of the blue ocean stretches before me and, flung across it, the glittering chain of our small islands so far from the distant horizon.

The royal blue of the rolling sea crests with white breakers on the living reefs amid turquoise shallows. I gasp at the lovely purity of the white rooftops, the rainbow medley of pastels and the quick surprise of pink-sand beaches beneath storm-scoured cliffs.

Two weeks ago I planned to fly to San Francisco to visit my mom and daughter but when I arrived at the airport my flight was delayed for four hours; I would miss my connecting flight and would have to spend a night in the airport hotel in New York. Looking gravely at my fallen shoulders, the agent asked me if I would prefer to fly tomorrow instead. He could change the tickets.

“Yes! And yes!” I laughed with relief.

One hour later, I was swimming a kilometre offshore at Elbow Beach.

With my mask, fins and snorkel I was confident and supremely relaxed. An angelfish with its wild passion of colours was swimming just below me. I was floating under the puffy castles of clouds and my arms and legs were spread out in starfish fashion. The sun was warm and the air so pure.

I felt I was given a priceless gift from the universe.

It was raining cats and dogs the next morning. By the time I got to the airport the weather had cleared up, but it was still gloomy.

“Not a good day for photography,” I thought. I sat down in my window seat on the left side of the plane. The plane took off and I saw Bermuda as in the palm of my hand. She was glorious as ever. I smiled and took a picture.

When I posted it on the Facebook 441 Photo Bermuda group, I had no idea of the response I would receive – there are so many people from all over the world that have strong bonds and connections with Bermuda; sweet, precious and romantic memories, strong desires and plans to come back.

There were Bermudians who proudly said how happy and blessed they were to be born in Bermuda and happy to live here. They all expressed their love and adoration for our island.

Let me share some of their comments that touched my heart.

Christie: “Whenever I visited Bermuda I would cry when seeing it from above. I have such happy childhood memories.”

Ron: “When I took my wife on her first trip to Bermuda, I had her sit by the window on the plane. She fell in love with the island before we even landed. She was in awe as we took the taxi to our hotel. She loved all the flowers on the sides of the roads. I was stationed on the island at [the US Navy's Naval Operating Base] in the early '60s, so I knew what places to take her. She just loved the beauty and the people, so we went back a couple of more times. I would like to go again, while I am still physically able.”

Sandra: “Perfection comes in all sizes. Hello perfection! I love you, Bermuda.”

Mike: “Always wanted to come back before I reached 60. You know Bermuda is made for lovers!”

Fran: “The people are so warm and welcoming!”

Chris: “I look forward to seeing Bermuda from the air one day. I have seen Bermuda appear on the horizon from a ship three times! The first time, I was so excited that I got up at 4am to dress and sit on the balcony to watch for the island to appear on the horizon! It is a lovely memory of a fabulous visit!”

Brandon: “The ultimate jewel in the Atlantic.”

Leah: “Magnificent island! It is a blessing to call this place home!”

Penny: “The best rock in the world to be born on.”

Jay: “My heart is right here on this little island.”

Salena: “I crave this island like my brain does air.”

I believe that I had to stay in Bermuda one extra day just to have an opportunity to take this picture. I received a gift and I gave a gift: a simple photograph that struck a loving chord in the hearts and memories of so many.

Thank you, Bermuda!

The islands of Bermuda (Photograph by Nina London)

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Published November 04, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated November 03, 2021 at 4:55 pm)

So small and so special

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