Sunday, November 9, 2008

The end draws nigh

Well, I have finished my turnover and am set to depart the South Pole for an interim night in McMurdo before flying on to Christchurch, New Zealand on Tuesday. There has been so much to do ere I could actually walk away from the job that it really has not yet sunk in that I will not be here as of mid-day today.

I started this trip back in early October 2007, and I am still here. I've been through the frenetic rush of summer, and long slog of winter, and people that have been out in the World have now returned and it is time for me to go. The station is seemingly packed full of new faces (some familiar, some not), and the galley seems to be a madhouse at meal times. Leaving is not going to be an easy thing.

I've had a lot of time to discover new things about myself that I didn't know even existed. I'm lucky that they are on the whole positive and welcome discoveries. I've found new friends, and hopefully most won't be simple acquaintances that will fade with time. I've seen and done things I never would have dreamed possible before actually living them down here at Pole.

Walking across the flight line and crossing the threshold of the LC-130 today is going to be a really difficult challenge. I want to hold onto this experience as long as possible, and a return to a bit more normal life in the World seems to be a proposition that does not shine as brightly as this has. I doubt many of you readers will be much interested in reading about me being unemployed and living out of my parents' barn come New Year's Day.

That being said, my favorite book says essentially what I'm feeling right now at the conclusion to one of the most remarkable years of my life thus far:

"For the Third Age was over, and the Days of the Rings were passed, and an end was come of the story and song of those times."
~J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

1 comment:

Lilly said...

Don't worry, Ethan - I feel sure there are even bigger and more exciting things ahead for you. Don't forget, the moon is waiting, as is Mars...

A short period of unemployment should be seen as a gift of time that you can spend to work on some talent or interest that you otherwise never find time for! Use it well, and enjoy it!