What does Bermuda mean to me?
Arriving over water so clear and so blue one can practically see the parrotfish below, then to look out and see, on the horizon, the island forming in the distance, starting with Dockyard, is to experience a suspension of disbelief.
In the middle of the mighty Atlantic Ocean really does exist a place more magical than the most far-fetched dream could ever conjure, and it appears like a mirage. Though I do legitimately dream, sometimes night after night, about Bermuda, I still find myself in awe of her majesty to this day.
In May of 2018, I visited Bermuda for the first time in 20 years. My first trip was as a six-year-old, and memories of that trip are sadly scant. But since that time, Bermuda kept calling me back, and my trip in May of 2018 uncovered and ignited my deep love of, and passion for, The Crown Jewel of the Atlantic.
Since 2018, I have been very lucky to come back on a number of occasions, and with each trip, Bermuda captures more and more of my soul. There can be no doubt that Bermuda is a captivatingly beautiful place.
But what makes Bermuda more beautiful still is her people, her unique history, and her quo fata ferunt spirit.
Bermudians of all stripes exude a genuine and passionate spirit of kindness, a kindness which makes visiting the island a pleasure beyond words. Whether it is a simple hello and a smile on Front Street, or a resident going out of their way to point out an historical tidbit in St George's, or a small conversation on Southlands Beach about the tide, nary a moment passes when I do not feel that I have landed in a second home. The biggest honour of my life has been my exploration of Bermuda, the friends I have made on the island, and the sense of meaning and belonging which have infused my spirit.
I have travelled the world and Bermuda is the only place for which I have a deep care and concern.
During quarantine, I have had the incredible fortune to be a “virtual volunteer” for the National Museum and transcribing old Bermuda Gazette publications has deepened my appreciation for the island's history further still. To me, one of the most admirable aspects of Bermuda is how her history propels her forward. While the past is not perfect, it is an impetus for growth and progress. This is the Quo Fata Ferunt spirit, something I try to emulate in my own life.
I will say unequivocally that as Bermuda rejuvenates my soul, it has made, and makes, me a better person. Bermuda has become one of the most important parts of my life; each night for dinner, I eat off Hog Penny plates, maps of Bermuda adorn my walls, Terry Tucker's Bermuda's Story and other books sit on my shelf, a Bermuda flag hangs in my bedroom, and my schedule is defined as time until my next Bermuda adventure.
Upon both arrival to and departure from Bermuda, my eyes are filled with tears. They are of course tears of sadness when it's time to leave, but in a larger sense, they are tears of joy, a joy that comes from knowing that such a magical and special place, filled with the warmest and most kind-hearted people, still exists in a world too often defined by tumult and animosity. Bermuda has ignited a passion in me that prior to rediscovering her I simply did not have.
I stand in awe of her history, her beauty, her way of life, and above all, her unique and contagious spirit. It is that spirit which gives me gusto and to which I look forward to renewing when I visit in September!