The truth is all around us
I'd like to address a serious issue facing Bermudians today. Let me explain. I have only just made peace with the fact that I live so far West. My family has moved house four times since I was born, each house further away from town than the one before. I hated moving further from town, especially after I turned 16, but with little say in the matter I have been forced to live with it. We started on Tankfield Road in Paget where I spent my early years naked, covered head-to-acorn in the sand from Grape Bay beach. From there we moved to Ord Road in Warwick, then to a treacherous corner in Southampton and now Wreck Road in Somerset, where we've lived since last summer. There is something inherently life-affirming about Somerset which has made me embrace the Country lifestyle. It's the sort of place Keats or Byron would have gone to convalesce, spending their last days watching the Western horizon. While some need a full sleep-cycle before they can reset and steel themselves for the day ahead, a good view of the sunset from Wreck Hill — accompanied with your vice of choice — and you'll find your head humming with the vibrations of renewal. All the baggage you've picked up throughout the day washes out in an instant. Here there is peace.
Which is why I am fed up with my friends complaining of the “mission” required to come visit me, “all the way up country.” There are First World Problems – your book running out of battery, or putting too much goat's cheese in your sandwich – and then there are Paradise Problems: having to travel for half an hour is legitimate reason to avoid the trip altogether. Bovine fecal matter, I say. While I understand the complaints from my more Eastern-dwelling friends, for my compadres of the middle parishes there is no excuse. Gone are the days when we had the luxury of taking our time. But on an island so small we should relish the chance to free ourselves of the screens that dominate every inch our lives. There isn't a screen in the world that can replicate the wind in your face and the blazing colours of paradise — blues and greens and pinks — that reel past as you cruise along South Shore. The truth is a commodity today. We spend so much time searching for it that when it knocks politely at the door we tell it to go away -- “Too busy looking for truth!” Truth is, we don't have much time for what is sitting on our doorstep. If we did, I wouldn't have a problem getting my friends up country for a drink.
I am moving out at the end of the month, and for the first time in My Bermudian Life I am moving nearer to town! But only marginally. I'm moving back to my last home -- the apartment beneath it -- on the treacherous corner in Southampton. It may not be Paget -- and my bredrins will still complain about having to make the mission up country -- but paradise (and dinner, conveniently enough) is just around the corner.
Please, for me, do yourself a favour this weekend. Visit ace-boy or ace-girl up the country. Embrace the travellers philosophy. It's not about where you're going, it's about how you get there. You can grumble about having to drive an interminable 20 minutes to see a friend, or you can look up and on your way home at night see the stars rise and tumble behind you back into the ocean. If you listen hard enough — and aren't driving a kitted V-50 — you'll hear the truth sizzle. It's there. We only need to pay attention, and occasionally make the mission to find it.
The need to give physical substance to thoughts when they strike us, to capture what we see on camera, or to just ramble when the mood takes us is not new. So, when the feeling hits you, when you feel inspired, or moved to commit something to paper, we would like you to share it with us.
A Bermuda Short will be a semi-regular feature, designed to give space to the emotions that this Island of ours inspires in us. If you've jotted down something you'd like to share, or captured a particualarly beautiful sunset, we'd like to see it. You can send it to us at email@example.com, with A Bermuda Short in the subject line.