I have a feeling that, in quoting the Blur song, this is a low.
A low for politics, for society…for decency. As you can tell I’m a bit bummed. And so are a lot of you (probably).
But, I was given something today I was surprised by.
It is a children’s science book called Childcraft. First published in 1964, it takes a simple perspective on all things science about our world and space. It was given to my son and me as a bedtime story suggestion from his Grandma. She was bang on. As I read it to him, I felt really calm. I felt at peace. He nestled into my chest and asked honest kid questions. Told me the things he knew and did his best supposition.
There wasn’t any political bullshit.
No anti-vaxxer idiocy.
No misogyny or sexism.
No hatred being advertised as tradition.
There isn’t anyone trying to change my opinion or push a mandate down my throat.
This book explains why the sky is blue. What clouds are made of. Why the stars twinkle and what a sun/moon dog is.
It explains what a tornado is, why a cave is a cave, and how big space is and how it is hard to describe that size (light years).
It was something I could share with my child and it was all right there. Straightforward and consumable. We can talk about the planet we live on with great detail and very little speculation. I say this a lot, but it is one of my favourite phrases: It talked to us, not at us.
It does so with clarity and honesty. With integrity. With the intent to share facts with the future. And if they are wrong, they will print another edition with updated information. There isn’t any posturing or spin.
And this…this science…it makes me calm. I don’t have to speculate or argue with it to make sure that it is telling me the truth. It was truly a wonderful surprise.
Thank you Grandma.