Showing posts from February, 2018

Between two lungs

"Gone are the days of begging The days of theft No more gasping for a breath The air has filled me head to toe And I can see the ground far below I have this breath and I hold it tight And I keep it in my chest with all my might I pray to God this breath with last And it pushes past my lips As I gasp" - "Between two lungs" by Florence and the Machine I love the air at the poles.  Photo by Tess Cole I realized it on my first Arctic expedition in 2011. I was standing on the bow of the icebreaker Polarstern , gazing out to the horizon and feeling the wind on my neck. I breathed deeply and relished the feeling of a thousand icicles filling my lungs. I think that was the day I fell in love with the Arctic. Cold air makes me feel clean from the inside out.  When I was little, my doctor used to say I had "tricky airways." I don't know exactly what he meant by that because he never diagnosed me with asthma, but every cold I got turned into

Groundhog day

"You want a prediction about the weather?...I'm going to give you a prediction about this winter. It's going to be cold, it's going to be dark, and it's going to last you for the rest of your lives."  - the movie Groundhog Day I looked up from my plate of eggs and fruit at Mark. He was wearing a blue-and-white shirt with a vest, much like the day before. I adjusted the neckline of my sweater, which I had also been wearing the day prior. Here we were again, having breakfast, checking the flight schedule. I had the strange feeling that I was living the same day over again. The Antarctic training course is over, but our group has been detained on the ice. First the weather was bad, then the flights were backed up because of the weather delay, then the weather got bad again. We've been delayed for three days. Having already checked our luggage for the flight, we're also living with limited outfit options. Each day is déjà vu.  It's not unusual t