The Rotunda of the Capital Building in the USA is used for dignitaries to lie in state, and the public is allowed to pay their respects. It was surprising to me to discover that it had been used during the civil war as a union hospital.
Another surprising fact for me was that the artist had fallen while on the scaffolding but had held on for 15 minutes to be rescued. How terrifying. And how tragic it would have been for him to have been killed completing his final masterpiece.
After taking a picture of a strange looking whiskered insect, I took the photo to someone who’d once worked for an entomologist. I didn’t expect him to know what it was, but he surprised me.
“It’s an assassin fly.”
Instantly he pulled out his phone and showed me.
I read in disbelief.
In my ordinary yard, I had discovered an assassin fly. They have a venom that scientists don’t entirely understand and it liquifies their prey.
In my yard.
What precautions should I take? How dangerous is the bite? Will I be able to go outside without dressing like a beekeeper?
Then I read further. There’s over 7000 different species and they’ve been around 120 million years…give or take.
I will be able to sleep tonight, and so will little Wilfred. That’s what I named him.
My grandfather didn't want to read aloud. Then one day, he heard my brother read something.
My grandfather decided if a little boy could do that, he could as well.
A few miles away, another person read a newspaper article to me and stumbled over the words. I knew she read the newspaper every day.
I'm amazed that people continue reading when it is so difficult for them. But, that is the power of written words.
As a child, I sometimes felt starved for books in the summer. I was about 18 before I went into my first library other than at school.
My reading world has changed so drastically. Libraries abound. Books are only a click away.
Yet, would I have valued literature as much as I do if I'd had books floor to ceiling in my world?
I'm fairly certain I would have.
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