When I look at this photo of my grandmother, taken long before I was born, my heart is filled with love and memories, and fortified by the connections that persist across generations.

She sits on the wall of a garden bed in front of the high verandah at her parents’ house, gathering flowers to bring inside. In this photograph, the flowers are geraniums; in my childhood it was frangipanis—usually on the dining room table—and her house was filled with their scent. My mother, too, had this propensity for bringing the outside inside: old jugs, glass vases and jars held bouquets of greenery such as loquat leaves, crotons or mock orange, or more delicate arrangements of roses, honeysuckle and begonias, crepe myrtle and nasturtium. Today I do the same thing, gathering, trimming, and arranging, and I feel that same deep connection to the garden, and to my mother and grandmother.

There’s another connection as well: just before this photo was taken, my grandparents had uprooted their family and moved in with her father—infirm, diabetic, and descending into dementia—to take care of him in his old age. I’ve thought of this often over the past few years after moving in with my mother so that she could age gently in familiar surroundings with family.

It’s another experience we share across the generations, and one we share with many fellow Bermudians. It is indeed a privilege to grow up and live in a small place, near, and with, older generations.