Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day #44 Reaching Across the World

On Tuesday, I mailed some of my books to two people I'd met through the internet. One is working on her Doctor of Divinity degree; we correspond through emails and Skype. I may be editing her work, but I'm also learning a lot from her.

Another is a science writer who works for NASA. I subscribe to NASA Science News, and I kept noticing her name listed as the author of articles I truly enjoyed reading. Finally one day, after reading her explanation of "Curiosity" (a space exploration vehicle trudging over the dusty Mars landscape),  I clicked on her name. Ah-ha! A link to her email. So I wrote her a quick note about how much I had enjoyed that particular article. She manages to get wry humor into most of her articles. In this one, she'd said that exploring Mars was much like finding your grandmother's dusty journal in an attic. Of course you'd read it! And you'd find out that "Granny was a pistol."

Here's what I said to her in my first email after I introduced myself briefly:

           I am so impressed when I read a scientific article that is as lucid as yours was. Your image of exploring grandmother's dusty diary was truly brilliant.  The "bird-dog" simile was equally effective. Thank you for your meticulous detail and your fine writing. You're going on my gratitude list tonight because of the joy I felt reading about "Curiosity."
          Best wishes,
 p.s. I have read my grandmother's diaries -- and she WAS a pistol!

She replied and, over the past year we've kept up quite a conversation. She finally got around to reading my first mystery, and then asked me to send her another one. The same thing happened with the doctoral candidate in Australia, who is working her way through every one of my books.

Well then, where do bees come into all this? Think about the folks who emigrated to the New World in the 17th and 18th centuries. I'd be willing to bet some of them were beekeepers. The sailing ships then were rather like the internet now. They carried letters (emails). They allowed forays into new realms (like internet searches). The beekeepers, finding bees in the Americas, would have recognized them and their value, much the same way I recognized value in the NASA article and the dissertation.

Queen bees, on their maiden flight, during which they go to where the drones gather (a new territory indeed for the young queens) and mate with a large number of drones from differing bees hives (colonies). They bring the resulting genetic variety back to their hive in the same way that ideas from the New World mingled with ideas from the Old.

So - pull out your granny's old diary. You never know what you'll find. Maybe she kept bees.

BEEattitude for Day # 44:
       Blessed are those who explore new worlds, for they shall find nectar in abundance. 

One thing Fran is grateful for right now:
       My connections with Mesheril and Dauna


Dauna said...

thanks Fran!! how sweet. and i am so thankful for 'hooking up' with you!!! love your writing!

Fran Stewart said...

You're most welcome. I like to give credit to good writers!