I've just said goodbye to Team Aurora at Svalbard. Feeling like I might burst with love, respect and awe for them. For these last few months and days I've had the honour and privilege to help prepare with Renny, Kiera, Josefina, Ezra, Sol, James, Adam and the rest of the team for this journey they are about to make. A journey that they are making on behalf of all of us - and for all life on earth.
Each member of the team is an incredible individual. Each of them brings something different, unique and special to the powerful circle they create as a team. Together they have an energy that can make magic happen. And they can do this because they know they are supported by and are representing people like you all over the world.
They are now heading towards Barneo base somewhere around 89' north. From there they will ski with laden sleds across the frozen Arctic ocean to the north pole, carrying the flag for the future and the beautiful pod, containing the names of 2.7 million people who want to see the Arctic protected, that will be lowered to the seabed in defiance of previous attempts to claim the Arctic and its resources on behalf of any one nation or company.
Despite being nervous about this huge mission ahead, they are overcoming their fear with courage because they know that the Arctic needs protecting. I am so proud of them all. They call me mum. I've nagged them, and made sure they have all their warm underwear, and tried to get them to go to bed early. I'm not yet a mother to my own children but in a weird way, today I really understand the feeling that any mum, any parent must get when they see their children go away on a journey: a mixture of pride, joy and heart-wrenching emotion.
It's hard not to be with them now. But I know that my spirit is flying with them, north and north again. To the top of our beautiful world; to the top of mother earth; to make a journey that we hope will help send ripples around the world, helping to articulate and bring about a more positive vision for the Arctic and the future ahead. Kiera said to me before she left: "she needs us... mother earth needs each and every one of us, to step up and call on our leaders to protect this earth and the Arctic for future generations."
Go well, Team Aurora. Your light will be burning strong in my heart.
P.S. Some of the team members have recorded messages for you. Here’s the first one from Kiera — we’ll post more soon.
Anna Jones is a Greenpeace campaigner from the UK, and the project leader of the North Pole Expedition. She sent us this message today from Svalbard, midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole.