by Clara Zibell
Cumbre Vieja, an active volcano in the Canary Islands on the Spanish Island of La Palma, has been in eruption since the 19th September. As of today, 7,000 people have been evacuated and more than 2,600 buildings have been destroyed. Schools have temporarily closed down in some parts of the island for the safety of the students and their families. An initiative by Professor Felipe Brito Luis, a local teacher affected by the eruption, encourages students from different parts of Spain to send words of encouragement or support to the students affected by the closures. In “Letter to the Children of La Palma”, I write a letter to the children on the island, trying to make the best of this distressing situation with a reassuring poem.
A Letter to the Children of La Palma
As the ashes patter down into the school yard, worry not.
As the lava surges onto the cobbled streets of La Palma, worry not.
As the crimson clouds cast a veil of terror over Canarie, worry not.
As the rumble of the eruption rattles during recess, worry not.
Worry not for the ashes are just summer snowflakes. Admire them as they fall from the sky, this is the due course of nature.
Worry not for the lava concealing Mother Earth is a blanket; the soil will rejuvenate, life will come back to your garden patch.
Worry not because the crimson clouds are a curtain, not a veil, waiting to reveal a new beginning.
Worry not because the rumble tumble of the volcano is the beating heart of Mother Earth, a reminder of her presence in our lives.
Cumbre Vieja means no harm; as she finishes her
transformation, stay home and stay safe — keep your
spirits high and spend time with your loved ones — there
is always light at the end of the tunnel.
The island’s official website has a page where you can donate to those affected by the eruption. Consider making a donation or sharing this webpage to raise awareness: https://www.cabildodelapalma.es/en/how-to-help-affected-volcano-de-la-palma