Quick question. By show of hands, how many of you are still actively employed in the mining industry?
Okay, another question, how many of you out there consider yourselves miners, even though you’re not actively working in the mining industry at this moment?
A lot more of you consider yourselves miners than are actively working. That’s interesting.
While many people aren’t cut out for it, there are some people who are born to be miners. Some people for whom mining gets in the blood.
It’s not easy sometimes getting up at 4:30 in the morning on a January morning where it’s hellfrozeover cold and going to work, or even worse, on a perfect summer’s weekend when all your mates are planning on heading out to the lake and all you’ve got to look forward to is twelve hours a day of breathing coal dust.
But the rewards? Well, the pay is nice, but there’s something to be said about the accomplishment. Of one more truck today than yesterday. Of being rewarded for your efforts. Of watching a perfect sun rise at five in the morning from the top of the mountain on a cloudless summer’s day.
There are times when you wonder why you do it. There are times, like now, when you wonder if you’ll ever do it again. But then there are those moments when you realize that you are, and always will be a miner. And you stand up tall, and you walk a little straighter, and maybe next year the mines will come back.
You can wait.