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The wonderful feeling of coming home to Bermuda

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San Francisco was gloomy and rainy for most of the two weeks I was there visiting my family.

On those grey days, I tried to recognise precious moments as if I were collecting dark red cherries during hot summer days in the radiant orchards of nearby Napa Valley.

I would like to share some of these recent San Francisco moments with you.

One day, I was walking through a light mist of rain and heard the sad and soulful voice of a saxophone. I followed the sound as it echoed among the canyons of city streets. I shivered, as if ghosts were beckoning me, and the lonely melody vanished into emptiness, only to reappear as I turned a corner.

Beneath the huge, grey abstract cube outside The Contemporary Jewish Museum, an old man was sitting alone. His saxophone glistened with tiny raindrops in an arc of gold. He was a small, frail figure under the towering height of the colossal stone cube, poised so precariously above him. I felt the dark weight of history ready to crush him into oblivion yet when he played, the notes flew straight out from his heart – small birds of hope ascending into the mists of grey where far above shone a golden sun.

I stood without moving, my eyelashes wet and my heart beating softly. Here in the centre of this city that represents tolerance and freedom, I felt a gathering of the souls of the Holocaust. I closed my eyes and the old musician became a shaman in a ritual of honour, his exquisite melody expressing both beauty and grief in equal measure.

The music stopped. I kept my eyes closed, lost in remembrance.

When I opened them, he was gone.

Another day, I was walking with my mom on lovely Yerba Buena Lane.

At 86, her memory is failing and she walks slowly, but with great purpose. We came to a famous sculpture called Shaking Man.

My mom reached in her pocket and walked straight to it. She gently put some small change in one of his outstretched hands. Then she put her palms over the hand, looked up at the intense face and said clearly: “Everything will be all right. Don’t worry! The worst time will pass.”

“Mom, you do know it is a statue?” I asked in astonishment.

She answered, “Yes, I know. It doesn’t matter, we all need support and encouragement.”

I was smiling and crying at the same time.

I guess it really doesn’t matter. If you care about the world, you treat every person, animal and object with the same attitude.

When I was flying home, I saw the bright white of a cruise ship under our wing. Like myself, it was headed to Bermuda, a small gem in the distance. I smiled and remembered how I came to Bermuda on a cruise ship ten years ago for the first time. I had no idea the course of my life would change so wonderfully here.

As I came out of the airport, my husband, Bill, was waiting for me, smiling and holding a bouquet of sunflowers. I felt the warm sun on my face and breathed in the comforting smell of the island and sea.

We hugged. I felt I was at home in his loving arms. It is a wonderful and special feeling to come home. Especially if your home is Bermuda.

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

Nina London's mother Vera with the Shaking Man, a 1993 bronze sculpture by Terry Allen in San Francisco's South of Market neighbourhood (Photograph by Nina London)
While in San Francisco, California, Nina London came across this man playing saxophone outside The Contemporary Jewish Museum (Photograph by Nina London)
A decade ago, Nina London arrived in Bermuda on a cruise ship (Photograph by Nina London)

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Published November 18, 2021 at 10:01 am (Updated November 18, 2021 at 11:36 am)

The wonderful feeling of coming home to Bermuda

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