I woke this morning in Greymouth, New Zealand to the smell of a coal fire burning. John and I were staying in a place that heated its hot water with a coal-burning stove so I assumed that was the origin of the familiar scent.
In the Cornish village where we live in the UK some people still heat their homes with coal and the smell filters through the air more and more as the weather turns colder especially late at night.
This morning was different. Waking in a town where 29 coal miners lost their lives 10 days ago made me keenly aware of how the scent of burning coal might be affecting the families and friends of the men who died in the Pike River tragedy.
I cannot image the pain they must be feeling. What I can do is pause for two minutes to honor their lives and memory with the rest of New Zealand when everything stops for 2 minutes at 2:00 pm today during a memorial service for the miners. I have a feeling that I will be thinking of them even longer … linked as they are now for me with the scent of winter and the security of home.
Two minutes at 2:00 pm.