My flight to the UK took a northerly route, so much so that the wing tip skimmed the air above the southern shores of Greenland and I was able to capture a rare glimpse of the rugged, frozen island. As the landscape passed by the window, I searched the peaks and valleys for signs of life. Small white spots on the sea might have been the tiny silhouettes of ships, but I couldn’t be certain. I could see nothing on land that hinted at human presense. Ice, rock and the vast grey-blue North Atlantic filled my view through the small cabin window.
I imagined myself standing down there somewhere on that coast. How lonely and cold it would be. How beautiful it would be. I wondered if a person could survive in that wilderness. If you were dropped there—gently and with a sleeping bag and a pack of food—there on the edge of the top of the world in the early spring, would you stand any chance of surviving a few days, a week? Maybe if you had a cell phone that worked. Maybe if you could put out a distress call right away, maybe help could arrive in time. But probably not. Too cold, too barren, too uninhabitable for humans. The planet would be wise to keep places like this around, places where humans would never thrive: places eternally wild.