Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Like people all over the world tonight, I am watching the news from Chile,  holding my breath as each man reaches the surface and then crying as he embraces his family. I also find myself gasping at the feats of engineering and technology which are being achieved and, of course, admiring the bravery and resilience of miners and rescuers alike.

Coming from a country with a mining history, I am thinking ,on this night, of all my compatriots who lost their lives in the bowels of the earth and I cannot help wondering how many of them would have been saved had today's technology been available to them.

I would like to quote this passage from one of my favourite books about Wales, Richard Llewellyn's How Green Was My Valley:

"There is patience in the Earth to allow us to go into her, and dig and hurt with tunnels and shafts, and if we put back the flesh we have torn from her and so make good what we have weakened, she is content to let us bleed her.  But when we take, and leave her weak where we have taken, she has a soreness, and an anger that we should be so cruel to her and so thoughtless of her comfort.  So she waits for us, and finding us, bears down, and bearing down, makes us part of her, flesh of her flesh, with our clay in place of the clay we have thoughtlessly shovelled away."

Sicily, of course, has a history of sulphur mining, so this island is no stranger to the hardships suffered by mine workers.  Child labour was used in the sulphur mines until well into the twentieth century.

As the world watches and hopes, I feel sure that the Chilean miners have earned a special place in Welsh and Sicilian hearts.


Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I think the Chilean miners have earned a special place in everyone hearts .

Yes I remember the horrendous time when the Welsh miners lost their lives. So true about the feats of engineering and technolgy now and if it had been around , how many would of been saved . The Chileans were thinking that it might not be til around Christmas that anything could be done, .. I have since read that this mine is to be closed for good.

We had the coverage on about the Chilean miners rescue on all day at work .. the delegates we had in, were able to watch it all in their breaks and we could when we had time .

I am sure that all the Welsh watchers of this were praying for them to be brought to safey but also thinking about their lost ones.

lakeviewer said...

We are all Chilean today!

Mimi Lenox said...

I am watching this too. It's sobering and exciting all at the time time.

You have been featured as a peace blogger on my site today.
Here is the link.

Dragonstar said...

Mining accidents always afffect those of us with any mining connections. That quote says so much.
It's wonderful that these men have been rescued.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Anne. You are right - I'm sure they are in all our hearts now. Indeed we are, lakeviewer. Hi, Mimi.I am honoured. Thank you so much for commenting here. Hi, Dragonstar. Yes, especially poignant for those of us from mining country. You are right - it is wonderful.


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