Butterfly fish and staghorn coral—Barbados on a postage stamp

February 10 | 2021

My father was a collector, as mentioned in my recent memoir, The Smallest Objective, and among his favourite collectables were stamps. His set shown here dates from 1968, purchased when we vacationed in Barbados that Christmas. It was on the same trip that a Cheezie I dropped on the floor of our villa triggered a thousand-strong procession of ants, each one helping itself to a minuscule portion before climbing the wall with its booty. Now that flights to the Caribbean have been grounded, such adventures are out of reach. In their place, I offer these still-vivid stamps from a half century ago—a promise of what lies farther south.