I'm writing this to sum up my experience. Sure, I've been home for almost 3 weeks, but you will stay with me always. And I sincerely hope this won't be our last encounter...I have a good feeling that it won't be.
I loved my time in Bermuda. Mostly. There were some hard times, but they were just annoyances. Well, except that weekend I was really sick, that stunk, but I had the foresight to bring the right medicine with me and all was well.
I loved just being there. The sticky warm air that stuck to my skin. The incredible blue of the ocean. Or on rainy days when it turned silver reflecting the clouds. The sound of my children playing outside - something they don't get to do in Las Vegas in the summer. The smile of the market place manager every time I went in, which was far too often! Comparing the sand of the different beaches we visited. Seeing fish and other underwater creatures in their own element. SO much better than a zoo or aquarium. The chorus of frogs that greeted us at sundown every evening. I don't know how, but they helped me sleep and I miss their sound!
The motion sickness inducing car rides on roads so narrow and windy you had to remind yourself that your driver had lived there all their lives, this is what they are used to...you will be safe! Just don't stick your hand out the window...you are really that close to another car. Relying on our own two feet to get us wherever we needed to go - the store and the beach mostly, the places we went with frequency. And when we needed to go further and we didn't want to pester our local "chauffeurs", our feet carried us to the bus stops, which were an experience unto themselves.
What a lesson in appreciating the conveniences of life. There was no McDonalds down the street if I was too tired to cook. It drove me nearly insane to have to cook every meal every day. Seriously. Fixing a toilet required a special trip to the hardware store. Out of milk? It's a 15 minute walk to the store each way. Nothing nearby is open 24 hours. A cell phone. I guess I could have bought an international plan, but I didn't need it. It was liberating to be free. My phone was my camera and clock. No checking facebook every 10 minutes or listening for the ding of a text or email.
Our beautiful neighbor, Miss Sheryl, who took our children under her wing, sharing snacks and toys and conversation with our kids. Her two adorable twin grandsons. Her offer to take us to Bermuda's best beach and a treat of Snowballs on the way home. The last night we were there, she came to our door with a gift. To thank us when it was we who should have been thanking her. And we did, with pictures dedicated to Miss Sheryl and delivered just before we left.
The show. The cast. The people. To see them learn and grow and fight for excellence. And ending up with a show that moved me to tears nightly and was widely recognized for the beautiful show that it was. To see the cast and crew and recognize that look on their faces - that they have that feeling that only comes from being a part of something bigger than yourself. The feeling that I have only felt onstage, in a community of people existing in an energy that you will feel no where else. To know that I was even a small part of helping them arrive at that level of emotion, well, it's humbling.
Seldon and Shoa, our fearless leaders. Such courage to take on something of this magnitude and to accept nothing less than the full scale show they envisioned. To provide the youth in their program with such support and to give so freely of themselves. They are the true embodiment of the Bermudian spirit. For the lovely words they shared on closing night, for recognizing that Steve and I are truly a team. My heart was filled. But again, I should be thanking you. And I am. From the bottom of my heart.
But, Bermuda, what you gave me that I treasure the most is time. The first week there I was in a stupor! Without a million things to do and places to be, I didn't know what to do. When was the last time my biggest concern in life was what to cook and what time to go to the beach to catch the tide when it's not too low or too high? Once it settled in, oh how wonderful it felt! I had the time to step back and examine my life. To actually make goals for the future. To read books that would inspire new ideas and remind me of old ones. To make a dozen lists about a dozen different things! To be quiet enough to hear my inner whispers - the ones that get lost when life is to busy. To remember and discover who I am and what I want.
Time to have hours of conversation with my husband. Having a good, intense conversation with my husband is just about my favorite thing. Time for game after game of Taboo and checkers. To see Lola and Ryder grasp the concept of the game and actually start to get good! Birthday celebrations with gifts from the Dollar Store and birthday girls who never suspected. A lesson learned about gifts, that's for sure. Time for me and time for my kids and a little (but not enough) time for me and my husband. I came home with a new outlook on and valuation of time. I feel like a whole new person. I am in control of my time and I choose how to spend it. And while real life demands more of me, I know how to control it now. I know to cherish it.
Bermuda, my friend, the 8 weeks we spent together will stay with me always. I am inspired to seek out new adventures and experiences. Thank you for showing me the way and being so welcoming on my first one.