Earth in my oatmeal



It was a cold summer morning that July 6th in southern Iceland. I had on long underwear, a turtleneck shirt, and a wool shirt over that. A heavy parka covered this, and a wool cap and L.L. Bean mittens sealed out a little more of the cold. The steam rising from a bowl of hot oatmeal looked promising, as I awaited my first taste of the goo. As I looked at the oatmeal with the raisins studded through it, I noticed how much it looked like the volcanic rocks we had been studying. They were a mixture of ash, pebbles, and boulders. When erupted, either under water, under a glacier, or as a gooey mass of warm mud in a mudflow, they probably behaved the way the oatmeal will do when it slides down my gullet.