By: EarlB, 10:23 AM GMT on June 29, 2008
I recently sent a photo attachment to an e-mail showing friends
the local scenery of the town where I am staying while working in
Greenland, and received the comment "...it looks sort of barren, you
must be happy." And, They were correct on both observations. My visits
to Greenland have always ignited a smile in spite of or because of the
openness, the solitude, the barrenness.
Greenland is the world's largest island (2.16 million sq. miles) with
57,000 residents. To some, 38 sq. miles per person would seem "barren",
but in Greenland people are clustered in small towns (a city would boast 3000
people, and I have lived here in towns with 200 people), making the seeming
vastness more intimate.
So, barren, yes, but in the small clusters of clan you find warmth and
friendliness inversely proportional to the harsh environment. I am happy
here, my haven is the protection and warmth of a living womb that
millions of people in a city will never find, a few surrounded by the vast.
As in the photo that I shared with my friend, and that I share with you in
this writing, I see the homes clinging to rocks as if they were
barnacles attached to a rocky shoreline: life may be difficult here,
precariously perched on this barren rock of an island, but to let go would
be certain death in a more hostile ocean.
My favorite photo of myself (see my weatherunderground blog entry,
"Black and White" of May, 2007) explains my friend's comment. I am all too
happy to be one person in 38 square miles.
Updated: 10:29 AM GMT on June 29, 2008
By: EarlB, 1:50 AM GMT on June 14, 2008
We don't think about the miracle we live very often, most
days we are too busy in the every-day chores, stretching
the ends, trying to make them at least meet.
So many babies are born in the world each day, and each
should be special, their arrival celebrated. And, by now, we should have
been desensitized to such a normal occurrence as a baby's birth.
Yet, I still stand in wonder at what big changes a small, new
life can bring to older, harder hearts.
So, let us celebrate, celebrate this new life brought to
us, and celebrate the new life reborn in us all.
Happy birthday, happy birthday to us all.
and a tiny nose.
But, he'll have
and boundless hopes
and boundless heart
as his little life grows.