We got an early Christmas present as we left Puerto Escondido on the winter solstice, December 21st. The solstice is one of our favorite days especially when we are in the Pacific Northwest. The days can only get longer from here on out. But because we left just before sunrise, we got to witness a beautiful sight during this Mexican solstice. Not only was Venus huge and gorgeous in the pre dawn sky, Jupiter and Mercury were in conjunction. That means they were at their closest point to one another from our earth bound perspective.
Christmas is a little bittersweet aboard Galapagos this year. We are far away from the people we love. Our kids aren’t even on the same continents; Claire and Daniel are in Ecuador. Andrew and Jill are in Paris. The Boyte-Whites are scattered across the globe; a small, brave, curious little tribe separated by great distances but bound close to one another by an even greater love.
Our larger family; Melissa’s mother and sisters in Washington and my own mother and sisters in Tennessee anchor us to Christmases past. In ways large and small, they made us who we are. They gave us the confidence to take chances, risk failure and know that we are loved regardless of the outcome. When I watch Melissa on the beach, picking up rocks and pocketing shells, I can see the young girl that both exasperated and made her parents smile. I suspect a similarly inclined young boy, haunting the sloughs and ponds of West Tennessee still lurks in an older, grayer me.
It makes me smile to know that in whatever time zone you may find us, we will celebrate the day with traditions that we created when we were all together. French donuts and mimosas will surely be on hand.
Aboard Galapagos traditions like a Christmas tree require local modifications.
Andrew and Jill, aka The WanderBlobs, bought the Charlie Browniest Christmas tree Paris had to offer.
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So, wherever in the world you find yourself this Christmas and however far flung your family may be, Galapagos and her crew hope it is filled with much happiness.