33 is a good number

I watched with happiness as the thirty-third miner climbed out of that Chilean hole in the ground a few days ago. It is rare for everybody to get out. It was extremely good to see. Welcome home, everybody.

I grew up in a Yorkshire mining town. At one time, my town had over 20 coal mines: We saw more than our share of accidents and disaster. It was part of life, which explains a lot about Yorkshiremen and, I suppose, miners world wide. Those from mining communities are shock proof, quick to anger and slow to forgive, but will dive head first down a 600 feet deep hole without hesitation to save a stranger in need.

Surprisingly, we laugh a lot. Life is for living. If we ever forget that, it comes back with a heart stopping flood when the next emergency siren floats across the air. All conversation stops. For a second, everybody wonders where their dad / brother / uncle / son is. And then, after one brief whispered prayer, as one well-oiled machine we drop whatever we are doing and make our way to the pit face. And help where we can. Again.

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