Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Strong women, Strong girls
Could you survive alone on an island for 18 years? What if you had no choice? A woman in the 1800s actually did that on this island - San Nicolas. It's located 60 miles off the coast of Southern California.
I read Scott O'Dell's Island of the Blue Dolphins when I was in grade school, but I did not realize that it was based on a true story. It was haunting. It was sad. The strength of that young woman, her fortitude, her survival instinct, her love for her little brother....incredible. I remember reading the story and wondering how the girl knew what to do to stay alive. She was impressive. She was wise beyond her years. She had the grit and wisdom of all of her grandfathers and great-grandfathers somehow stored in her soul. 18 years...alone. And the worst part is that she died less than two months after she was discovered and brought back to Santa Barbara. Apparently her new diet could not be tolerated by her digestive system, which had been accustomed to a very limited range of biota on the island.
I would have liked to have met this woman. She was made out of things that I can scarcely fathom.