As I set these words down 18 of the 33 miners in Chile who’ve been trapped more than 2,000 feet underground for 69 days are free. Death faced, and, for now, avoided.
Every time the capsule, called the Fenix 2, emerges from the earth with another miner, I cry.
More than there should be in this world know the utterly unfiltered face-to-face encounter with death. Every one of those 33 men know this experience and, God willing, all will be successfully rescued and know the ineffable joy that comes with the realization they get to keep their most precious gift: their lives.
When you are face to face with death it doesn’t make a damn difference whether you are wealthy or poor, what kind of car you drive nor does it make a difference what kind of place you live and where you live or whether you are employer, employee or unemployed. Life happens to us whether we like it or not, and that includes death.
Life and death know no bigotry.
When miner Esteban Rojas, 44, the 18th miner to reach the surface went to his knees in prayer moments after stepping out of the Fenix 2, joined by his wife’s kneeling embrace seconds later, my eyes wet up so much I could barely see the screen.
I hope these men, and I hope you, my reader, remember to live. I like that those rescued wait for their comrades before they leave the area because all 33 decided when they leave the area, they will leave together.
With all its up and downs, its wounds and blessings, life is a wonderful place to be. It is our most precious gift.