Cruising down the wrong side of a foreign road, I searched for any indication of an approaching shoreline. Having spent the last three days peering over the top deck of a cruise ship, watching the massive boat slice through the Atlantic Ocean, I was eager to finally plunge into that welcoming water myself. With the thick tropical heat filtering into our oversized taxi, my family members aimed their cameras to the open windows, all hoping to capture the perfect image of the Bermuda scenery.
Palm trees, cloudless skies, and florescent houses provided an ideal backdrop for our journey down the narrow roads, as speeding cars barely scraped by us on the opposite side. As a native to the island, our taxi driver also acted as a tour guide along the way. From the most elite mansions to each quaint little cottage, he supplied information on nearly every type of building lining our path. Eventually, to my excitement, the surrounding houses grew sparser and the sandy coast came into view.
Having spent that same morning exploring Hamilton, Bermuda’s capital, with my family, I had already seen Horseshoe Bay, our destination, on nearly every postcard in every shop. I had marveled at the scenic photos, but when we finally arrived at our greatly anticipated retreat, I realized that a postcard was no competition for the real thing. No printed picture of the rose-colored sand could capture its cool satin texture like the touch of bare feet. With each sinking step, the salty ocean breeze nudged me toward the horizon, where the already crowded waters begged for more company.
Being accustomed to the frigid New England water back home, I braced myself for the chilling tide to wash over my ankles, only to be met with the same warmth as the summer air. Now I understood why so many people were able to just dive in with such ease—it was like entering a Jacuzzi with an unlimited capacity. I waded in to join everyone else, taking my place amongst the hundreds of beach-goers enjoying their day under the blazing August sun.
Floating in the clear turquoise water, the ocean and I became one body. The waves surged with a rhythmic pulse, matching my sighs of peaceful satisfaction. Cradling my body, the sea made me feel safe even in my most vulnerable state. The licks of water washed away the sand’s remnants, and the calming motion cleansed my mind of all thought. As the surf caressed the blushing shore, I drifted along with a quiet indulgence.
I had no concept of time, and it didn’t matter. Using only the changing shadows to keep track of time, I soon realized that the passing minutes had turned to hours. I never wanted to leave, and I noticed no one else did either. For as long as I stayed, the crowd never wavered. Kids were laughing, friends were throwing Frisbees, and families were having picnics under their giant umbrellas. They were free from worry, free from care, free from life’s stresses, and I had officially joined them.
About the Author: Nicole Gariepy: I am a student at Salem State University, currently pursuing a degree in English with a minor in dance. In addition to writing, I enjoy doing ballet, playing music, and spending time with family and friends. Find me on Facebook.