Each holiday season I am reminded of how Caroline spent her Christmas. Last year I shared with you Caroline and Margaret’s Christmas in the Fly River with a palmetto Christmas tree lit by fireflies. This year I would like to share with you their Christmas spent in Morovo Lagoon in the Solomon Islands.
“That Christmas Day with its enforced idleness was as long as a selfish life. We spent some of it up on the temple hill trying desperately to remember what snow looked like, and to recall the sound of church bells and crowds laughing.”
“When we stopped talking all we could hear was the bump of blood in our own veins. Vainly we tried to visualize a familiar face. What a Christmas present it would be to see one suddenly, when we had been meeting only strange faces for almost two years! What did turkey taste like? with cranberry sauce? and even spinach? We drew up a menu and, like natives, discussed it in detail from every angle; but in the end we could still taste only tinned fish and tinned mutton and tinned beef; and they all tasted alike. What did it feel like to be cool? cold? even frozen stiff? Wonderful! We were getting bogged down by the steady heat. It was intensified to steam now by the intermittent rains. And there was the unadmitted weariness of our own unrelieved company, something few expeditions will confess in print but which nevertheless does enter the picture.”
Unlike Caroline and Margaret, we will be able to enjoy time with friends and family sharing a fabulous meal, hearing laughter and acknowledging all with a good glass of wine. This year I am thankful for everyone who has supported HEADHUNT REVISITED through Kickstarter donations, my team who worked hard to submit to four large grants, and my colleagues who have set up speaking engagements. And, of course, there is someone who has offered endless moral support and held my hand when I was nervous and anxious. My special guy, George, whom I will spend some quiet time with this Christmas reflecting on all that is good in life.