One early morning last week, I received this message from Irina who lives in Ukraine:
“Nina, I’ve been sick for a long time and I am taking a medicine with a sedative, and it makes me feel like a vegetable! Yesterday, I looked at your daily videos on Facebook. You always say at the beginning, ‘Smile and the world will smile back at you’.
“I want you to know it really works! I smiled for the first time in a long while and I feel that the world began smiling back at me.
“This is all because of you. Please post more videos, it really cheers me up. Can I also ask you in your video to greet me personally? It will raise my spirit.”
I was very touched and moved by this warm message. I wanted to make something special for her. I know too well how important it is when you are ill to smile and laugh, because at these moments you forget about your sickness and pain. The whole day I thought about what kind of video to make for her and absolutely nothing came to me.
Then my husband Bill and I were driving on South Shore Road back to Somerset when we decided to stop at Astwood Cove. This is a hidden gem, and one of my favourite places in Bermuda. The cliffs drop into the surging aquamarine ocean there, and waves spray the white foam high into the air. The vistas both east and west are a stunning parade of breakers, and you feel the power of a sea that has travelled countless miles to crash upon our shores.
The sun was strong and the sky that clear, dark blue we get in winter. I felt the wind rushing past my face, teasing my hair into impossible curls, and I closed my eyes to smell the salt air and relax into the thunder of the surf. In that perfect moment I felt totally alive. All my senses were engaged and my restless mind was at peace.
We were walking along the winding path that follows the black lava rocks, when suddenly I caught the faint melody of a song floating in and out among the ocean’s roar. As we walked further, it became pleasant and distinct and the supporting music carried the heartfelt voice in the crisp embrace of the wind. We came out onto the top of a cliff where there was a sandy platform that formed a small stage.
In the centre was a handsome young man singing his heart out as the ocean leapt upwards like an audience from below. Bill and I exchanged a quick look; this was an extraordinary performance. The man, the sea, the waves, the jagged rocks, the birds wheeling overhead in the pure blue sky; it touched our hearts, and we stood still and silent.
From time to time, he glanced over at his laptop which was perched on a nearby rock. As the soundtrack played, I realised he was stopping now and then to scribble on a sheaf of papers. He was songwriting, spontaneously creating this wonderful performance for an audience of surging waves and windblown birds.
The scene was so beautiful and unexpected that I laughed and turned to Bill, “This is exactly what was I was looking for the whole day!”
I walked to the artist and introduced myself. Bill, who is a musician, told him what a great song it was — a hit in the making! I spoke about the sick girl in Ukraine and asked if I could dance to cheer her up while he was singing. He smiled shyly and nodded.
I climbed up on the rocks above him as he began. I danced in the sun and wind and I felt lifted to some higher place by the power of his song.
Bill had his camera in hand, and we shot an unscripted video that was happy and fun. After dancing, I turned to the camera and addressed Irina in the cold, grey Ukraine urging her to find the simple joy in life and dance again.
The artist introduced himself as “Moon”. What a perfect name, I thought! His talent was unstoppable! We thanked him and wished him well, and left him singing to the endless sea.
In the evening, I composed the video, sent it to Irina and received this answer from her:
“Nina, I am very grateful to you, Moon and Bill. My mood is on fire although it is snowing and very cold here. Thank you! Thank you! Life is beautiful! Hooray! My lips are sore from smiling! Your team made this one person happy in a time when I needed it so much. And the most important thing for me is it turns out I too can dance!”
This was the best gift for me; to know that somewhere far away in a snowy, foreign city, a sick girl looks at our stunning turquoise ocean, listens to the beautiful song of Moon and leaves her bed to dance.
•Nina London is a certified wellness and weight-management coach. Her mission is to support and inspire mature women to make positive changes in their body and mind. Share your inspirational stories with her at www.ninalondon.com