Tonight, in a glittering, new moon sky, every star holds a wish for the safe rescue of 33 Chilean Gold miners. Trapped, they ache to see the sunrise for the first time in 70 enduring, famished, horrendous days. There is no atheist stood in the crowds of hundreds gathered around the scene and prayers are murmured beneath an atmosphere of fret and anguish.
The courageous rows of rescue operators wait anxiously for instructions as their families shatter in one another’s arms.
With enthusiasm, fear and faith, they are off…
The first A-team member enters the enormous rescue capsule before it is lowered down a prepared shaft and it is hoped that the first of the miners will rise in minutes. Hearts of onlookers and news watchers worldwide race in anticipation, websites crash with blessings of safety and the citizens of Chile unite as a band of support to one another.
In unison, the rescue team begin clapping and chanting ‘We’re going to get them out’. Spirits raise. History unfolds before our eyes.
And suddenly, we see a smile light up our screens. The rescue team have made it into the cave and, bursting with tears of euphoria, a miner’s eyes twinkle into the camera lens. 33 miners celebrate the arrival of aid. The first contact with civilisation in ten weeks. He is their saviour. The rescue has begun.
That wait is the worst. The wait of the first to rise from their near grave. A suffocating gasp of anticipation twists my insides.
The news that Miner number 1 has boarded the capsule is broadcasted. The wheel slowly hoists the cord of the transporter, flags wave and the Chilean National Anthem choruses epic dynamics. Morale soars amongst the masses.
In the corner of my childlike mind, the Thunderbirds countdown the arrival of the rocket-like rescue device.
At the very sight of the valiant gold digger unearthed, taking a first gasp of freedom, hearts internationally burst with compassion for his liberation.
One by one, in a slow, perilous process, a rescuer descends to the unsafe depths of the shaft, sacrificing all, exchanging their freedom with a complete stranger. After 6 hours, only 3 have emerged and still 33 remain in the pit of fear. Realisation of the hours that stand before them hits hard, but the ecstasy of the gift of life that they have delivered boosts unknown strengths. Selflessly, audaciously and, un-rested, they need little else to carry on regardless.
No words can describe the emotions that this night has drawn out in humankind. No expectation of community could ever stretch so far. Where was I on the day of the Chilean Miner’s Rescue? My heart was in San Jose.
May those that risk their lives today be duly rewarded and forever remembered for their gallantry and devotion. May their mightiness sustain throughout the painstaking days ahead of them. With awe, gratitude, praise and encouragement, good luck!