“To have and to hold…”, so the wedding vows (used to) go. (I say, “used to” for as we all know, the holding part has become increasingly difficult – especially “until death us do part”). Today, this vow smacks of wanting to have your cake and to eat it, which could be considered unreasonable, I suppose – two mutually exclusive actions, against the natural laws. If you’ve been had, you surely can’t also expect to be held. Or is it the other way around? You can be held, but don’t expect anyone to have you for too much longer than that?
How exciting it is to be discovered, like some unexplored continent, full of surprises at every turn. Exotic plants, unnamed as yet, fresh sounds and sights assail the senses and the mind leaps with the sheer excitement of fast-paced activity. A compelling quest ensues. Will there be more? Will it be different, even from this? How much is there? Ah, you will have to journey on, dear traveller.
What if it turns out to be more of the same; if you round the bend and it looks just like your backyard in the old country? What if this is just a little showpiece to lure world-weary travelers deeper into the unknown, when they will be too far away to run to their boats when danger appears? What if you wake up one day and long for home but your boat is gone? What if the quest is what it is all about?
It is a strange thing about explorers who liked what they saw and then settled – they invariably sought to recreate the first situation in the new setting. (Look no further than the many Victorian buildings in Africa.) Ja, well, maybe they just wanted the same thing again but with the sunshine…