Something wonderful happened today.

Today I received a comment from a fellow blogger asking my permission to translate one of my stories into Spanish and repost it on her own blog.  Of course, I said, si!

(If you are curious, and can read Spanish, here is a link to the story: http://parapalabras.com/2013/10/23/mirando-el-reloj-de-jill-schmehl/ )

What makes this wonderful?

Here I am, a person sitting at a computer the USA, and I write a story.  The story imagines what it is like for a mother to watch her son growing up.

And there is a person in Spain, also sitting at a computer, and she reads my story and it resonates with her.  A total stranger from a far away land. We’ve never met and know nothing about each other, but she understands the feelings I expressed in my story and liked it enough to translate it and share it with her readers.

We live almost 3800 miles apart, separated by a vast ocean, but we can both understand the changing relationship between a mother and son.  Because we are both human beings, living on the same planet, at the same time.

I have interacted with so many people from all over our planet in my short time with this blog.  I look at the long list in the ‘Views by Country’ section of the stats page, and it awes me every time.

Big Blue Marble
Big Blue Marble (Photo credit: Roger Lynn)

When I was a child, I watched a show called ‘The Big Blue Marble’ on PBS. I don’t remember much about the content, but I do remember they hosted a pen-pal service.  They connected children from all over the planet, anywhere their show could reach, I imagine.  Through that service, I had pen-pals from South Africa and the UK and New Zealand and other countries I can’t remember now. (I know for some of the girls, English was a language they were leaning in school and having an English-speaking pen pal was an assignment.) In our letters we talked about the silly things children talk about, our favorite songs or colors or subjects in school.  It was all rather meaningless, and made for some really boring letters, but the foreign stamps and odd envelopes were cool.

But what I took for granted then, and what is so amazing to me now, is that we were all the same.  It didn’t matter where we were born, or what language we spoke at home: we were all girls, about ten years old, on the planet Earth, in the year 1981, writing letters to each other about our favorite colors in a language we could all understand.

And here I am still, all these years later, conversing with you.  You could live anywhere on the planet, you could be any age, any gender, and yet we reading each others words without a thought for the separations of borders or distance or culture. Because we are both human beings, living on the same planet, at the same time.

And that is wonderful.

Thank you, María, for sharing my story and for your work of translating it into Spanish.  And thank you for reminding me of how alike we all are and how wonderfully small our big blue marble is.

8 thoughts on “This Wonderfully Small, Big Blue Marble

  1. What a lovely compliment! Between borders and nationalities we are all the same curious beings, separated by sea and unified by earth. I got my first pen pal at the age of 12 and twenty years on, we still write to each other. She is in Finland and I am in Ireland, so far apart, yet so near. We humans are truly fascinating.

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    1. Thanks! It gives me shivers sometimes to think about how we’re all growing more and more connected everyday.

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