Thursday, November 25, 2010


Egill Lundgren was working in the Brest offices of Hansen Shipping when February on the Breton coast wore him thin. Always the damn February, with its snow flurries and its pall, clouds in the sky and the light failing early, rising late.

Sure, Egill knew darkness. He grew up in Bergen, with its long, dark winters. He'd traveled that long tunnel. But one afternoon reviewing shipping records of cargo through Panama, he thought about the old days--and the Cape. If summers up north were light, those same long days were stretching the year's other half in the extreme south.

It was that obvious. Why hadn't anyone thought of this before?

The rest of the month took on a deeper gloom, as Egill realized he'd need a job. How could he support himself in an itinerant life? This was in the 1980s, before the Internet and working remotely. Even now, we're remote enough that we don't really have Internet. Wi-Fi is not an option here.

But spring was coming, and he made it through the summer, and he kept planning. He thought about medical studies. Could he be paid to be someone's guinea pig? He thought about government grants. He thought about his pension. He's lose that--but by September, he didn't care. He'd figure out something, anything. He bought a plane ticket and left on the equinox.

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