Merry Christmas from Subic Bay. Too many away from home. This time in port though but frankly would rather be at sea. Anyway I usually always find time to re-read this passage from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Came upon it by accident a long time ago - funny it is not depicted in the paragon of all versions of this story - the Mr. Magoo film. Quincy Magoo, what an actor! Never got his due with the Oscars. But back to the topic. Here’s the passage:
[I]The spirit did not tarry here, but bade Scrooge hold his robe , and, passing on above the moor, sped whither? Not to sea? To sea. To Scrooge’s horror, looking back, he saw the last of the land, a frightful range of rocks, behind them; and his ears were deafened by the thundering of water, as it rolled and roared, and raged among the dreadful caverns it had worn, and fiercely tried to undermine the earth.
Built upon a dismal reef of sunken rocks, some league or so from shore, on which the waters chafed and dashed, the wild year through, there stood a solitary lighthouse. Great heaps of seaweed clung to its base, and storm-birds - born of the wind, one might suppose, as seaweed of the water - rose and fell about it, like the waves they skimmed.
But, even here, two men who watched the light had made a fire, that through the loophole in the thick stone wall shed out a ray of brightness on the awful sea. Joining their horny hands over the rough table at which they sat, they wished each other Merry Christmas in their can of grog; and one of them - the elder too, with his face all damaged and scarred with hard weather, as the figure-head of an old ship might be - struck up a sturdy song that was like a gale in itself.
Again the Ghost sped on, above the black and heaving sea - on, on - until being far away, as he told Scrooge, from any shore, they lighted on a ship. They stood beside the helmsman at the wheel, the look-out in the bow, the officers who had the watch; but every man among them hummed a Christmas tune, or had a Christmas thought, or spoke below his breath to his companion of some bygone Christmas Day, with homeward hopes belonging to it. And every man on board, waking or sleeping, good or bad, had had a kinder word for one another on that day than on any day in the year; and had shared to some extent in its festivities; and had remembered those he cared for at a distance, and had known that they delighted to remember him.[/I]