I spent most of the morning glued to CNN watching the miners (#11-14) get rescued. Could not get enough of it. Was completely entranced, fascinated, touched, and thrilled by the whole spectacle.
I cannot imagine a worse fate than being buried alive 2,000 feet under the ground.
But I am ashamed in the face of this, to admit that there have been times when I have said about my own life that it felt as if I were buried alive.
But haven’t we all? Haven’t we all, at one time or another, felt overwhelmed, to the point where we needed to be rescued?
And how about taking this one step further. Haven’t we all felt that there were things that, for whatever reason, we felt unable to deal with so we just pushed them down deep and buried them alive?
And what about those nagging thoughts or intuitions about not living up to our potential, or using our talents, or following our dreams?
I know I was born with the potential to do more than I am doing with my one wild and precious life. I know I have sleeping talents and abilities that have never been allowed to awaken because I’ve been either too lazy or too afraid to let them loose. I hear their cries and see their SOS signals but turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to them.
I drown them out with blather about being “too busy,” and having too much”work” and needing to tick items off the “things-to-do lists”, or being “too old.” And I do it mainly because I think I don’t know how to rescue them.
(But I do.)
I heard the guy responsible for the drilling operation say that it was “Plan B” that worked. They couldn’t drill hard and aggressively because that would have dislodged big pieces of rock and collapsed the chute. And they couldn’t drill too slowly either, because that would have worn down the drill bits. They had to find just the right speed. They needed to work very carefully, very slowly and very persistently.
And they did. And it worked.
(As I am sitting here writing, the last miner has just been brought to the surface!)
As they came up all day, one by one, into the harsh Chilean sunshine, after 69 hellish days trapped underground, each man was ebbulient. Each had been rescued. Each one is now free to live out the rest of his days in the light and the fresh air. Regardless of how happy or unhappy each of their lives turns out, at least they are free –to make the best of it, or a mess of it.
My joy in watching this today was mostly for them, of course, but it also gave me hope that buried things can be rescued.
And that includes all human dreams, talents and potential. All we need is a “Plan B,” –a slow, persistent, practice that will unearth each buried thing, one by one. And I have that. It’s called “yoga” and “writing” and “silent retreats” and “meditation” and “compassion.” Applied artfully and patiently over time, these practices can unearth the buried stuff, bring it to the surface, rehabilitate it, and set it free to walk around to either make the best of it, or a mess of it.
The lesson here is “never give up.” For the Chilean miners. And for us.