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The Bermudian

Naturally Speaking

Illustration by Christine Watlington Now that summer’s here I think of sunflowers I saw once in southern France, fields and fields of them, their heads nodding in the breeze. And then I think of Arles, Vincent van Gogh and all his vibrant, tactile yellows made possible because of newly invented pigments, such as chrome yellow. The other day I bought a bunch of sunflowers from Amaral’s farm stand, stuck them in a bright blue jug we bought years ago in the south of France, and taking in their rich yellow fringes and chestnut florets, had a long and satisfying Van Gogh moment. But looking at one of the heads, its petals slightly droopier than the others, a shock of memory shot through me—the involuntary Proustian kind that takes you instantly back to your earliest days. Back in childhood I was, but I just couldn’t remember what I was remembering.

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Illustration by Christine WatlingtonThe first Norfolk Island pine I ever saw belonged to Mr. Flint, one of my father’s friends in England. He had it...

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When people talk cassava pie, you know Christmas is coming.

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A new nature reserve on the island is so enticing. It means unexplored open space and a different perspective.

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Tourists coming to Bermuda from Europe love kiskadees. I think it’s because they are so easy to see, but they don’t look as if they are.

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It's a funny thing, but I rarely smell salty air in Bermuda. I associate that smell with the coasts of Scotland or Maine where the climate is so much colder most of the year.

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The other morning, struggling with a bad bout of writer’s block, I looked out of a window in my study in search of distraction.

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Sometime in the year 2000 we bought a dendrobium at a plant sale in the Botanical Gardens.

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One morning as I was driving toward the Belmont Ferry on Harbour Road, I noticed a woody stem appearing inches above the wall on the...

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Some of my most pleasurable childhood memories have to do with riversides in the U.K.

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When I was a small child, I grew marigolds of the calendula officinalis variety.

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