I want…


We are down to the last month here – 30 more days – and then the C-130 Hercs will begin to arrive, laden with mail, freshies, and the eager, excited, exuberant faces of the summer crew ready to go…It will definitely be a transition and I’m sure I will find myself cringing and wanting to be left alone – crowded by the new people and their optimism, just wanting them to stop smiling so much, stop talking so much…the frenetic pace of summer is exhausting even when you haven’t just survived a 9 month winter!
I’m scheduled to head out just a week after the first Herc arrives, shipped back to the real world, to beautiful New Zealand. Lately as I try to fall asleep, or whenever I let my mind drift, I find myself dreaming of everything the rest of the world has to offer – everything I have missed and yearned for these past long months. Here at Pole there is no dirt, no insects, no wildlife, no birdsong nor animals of any kind. There are no people younger than 22 or older than 65. We have no fresh fruit and only the limited vegetables grown in the green house, no real eggs, and only powered milk. We have showers, but are only allowed two (2minutes long) per week. It’s been an extraordinary experience, both challenging and enlightening, but the sun is up now, it’s relatively warm (-65F) and I think we’re all ready to go.

So here is a list, the idea stolen from a blog of a friend who has wintered here at the Pole twice before:

I want to feel the warmth of sunlight

I want to wake up to bird calls and the rising sun, not the electric screech of an alarm clock

I want to taste the crispness of an apple or an orange on my tongue

I want to let my hair down and feel the wind in it

I want to get my freckles back, even if it means getting sunburned – I want my semi-translucent, pale, dry, skin to draw color and warmth from the sun, to heal

I want to stand barefoot on green grass damp from dew

I want to wiggle my toes in the sand and feel the cold ocean waves wash over my feet grasping at my ankles, begging me to follow them out into the sea

I want to smell the rain – to hear it pattering on rooftops and window sills

I want to wear a skirt and feel warm air against my legs

I want to look at a horizon with puffy clouds and jagged mountains

I want to see the saturated color of dandelions on a stretch of green grass

I want to hear the wind in the trees and the songs of birds

I want to speak with someone whose name I do not know, whose stories I have not heard

I want to take a shower without goose bumps, and to just stand and let the hot water run over me regardless of the time

I want to see fresh fruits and veggies – resplendent in their color, holding in my hands the glossy red strawberries, deep purple eggplants, dusty blueberries, and bright yellow bananas, the orange peppers, brown mushrooms, white garlic, pink apples, and the myriad of greens…

I want to watch the sunrise, not stretched out over the course of weeks, but over mere minutes – and to watch it set that same day

I want to feel the heat of a hot day radiating from the earth after the sun has set

I want to feel dirt between my fingers

I want to blow my nose without getting a nose bleed and to wake up without being congested

I want to have the freedom to leave the mile radius I’m in whenever I please

I want to see color on the horizon, on the earth – something other than snow

I want to run outside – not on a running machine, er, treadmill…

I want to step outside and breathe without burning my lungs from the cold

I want to touch metal with bare hands without freezing to it

I want to go somewhere new – where I don’t know each bump and scratch on the walls, where there is something new about my surroundings

I want to sit near people and not feel obligated to say something or listen (like in a cafe or on a bus)

I want to hear a child’s laughter and a dog’s bark

I want to wear a tank top and feel the sun on my shoulders, to step outside without 25 pounds of clothing weighing me down

I want to wear sandals

I want to sit on a rock, to feel the warmth of the sun from it

I want to hike somewhere surrounded by trees and animals, to be the only human, to be alone

I want to swim naked under the stars

I want to go.


Filed under Antarctic, South Pole, Winter

5 responses to “I want…

  1. Uncle Dave

    Sweet thoughts! I want you to have ALL those things too, Marie…

  2. Your post has made me weirdly look forward to coming home- and I’ve not even set off yet! I’m gonna do a big list of the freshies and presents to take out to the winterers I’m replacing at Halley.

    • That is a fantastic idea – I’m sure they’ll be happy to see you, but they’ll be burnt out and tired and might not be the friendlies bunch…citrus, lemons or oranges, are especially good as they keep if you are delayed by weather 🙂

      • Cheers. Yeah, I’m prepared for being a loud outsider- so I’ll be toning my excitement down a bit and just bringing some nice things from Santa, Already got plenty requests via email.
        Hope the return home is everything you want it to be!

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