Memories flood back as I walk alone around the sleeping summer station. It’s 1 a.m. and I still haven’t packed.

It’s not just my bags that concern me. It’s also organizing my mind for the imminent return to civilization. A Twin Otter plane will fly in in the morning and take me away from the most challenging, and in some respects rewarding, year of my life. It has all happened so fast.

Late last week we had our first visitors, breaking nine months of isolation. We had rushed out to greet the plane — since the landing had been changed from a 40-minute warning to just five. I opened the front door and was hit by the usual shotgun blast of fresh cold air to the face. This time, though, it carried a vibrancy — the sound of a 1940s twin propeller engine raking away the silence.

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