Unforgettable


A beautiful spring day, chilly but sunny, exists outside my window as I write this morning. It would be a good day to fly a kite, if it could be coaxed above treetops, since the breezes are high in the sky, barely trembling my garden plants.

No kite flying for me today….it is this task on which I am focused. A new blog for my website, which I have not paid any attention to for a while. But now, since there will be a Chinese translation of the book I wrote and illustrated, it was time to update the site, delete, polish, add, change, and announce this wonderful news of my book heading to Mainland China.

To create a new page for my website, I needed to write, design, and choose photos from my summer in China, in 2002, bringing back wonderful memories, you can read on the new page in the menu….China……

But it was when I began to attend to the Blog page, that I discovered another migration of mine. This journey took me back in mind and spirit to a fascinating scientific spirit I counted as friend, when on my Science Writing Fellowship, at The Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole, MA, that summer of 1999.

As I read of that adventure, I wanted to add the name of that great scientist I met, and typed his name into my browser…Osamu Shimomura…..and up popped up many articles about him. And many obituaries, to my dismay. I read all of them. Printed some to keep. Became weepy as I felt immense gratitude for the grace of life itself, that serves up experiences undreamed, if we allow curiosity and friendliness as companions.

As you visit the page, “Palau to MBL,” you will read how Dr. Shimomura’s migration and mine collided in a memorable way. When it was announced he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008, at age 90, I was suddenly back in his lab at the MBL rubbing my hands together, watching them turn blue with bioluminescence, as he shared his research-changing discovery with me, a children’s author, curious about practically everything.

After that, we often had breakfast or lunch together, often too excited to eat, as we and chatted about practically everything, in the three weeks I was privileged to be on that fellowship.

Our lives diverged after I left for my home in the Midwest, but to this very minute, as I write, I am back with him, this kind, tall, unassuming man and his dear gentle wife, delighting in my delight, as he opened a new world to me, that fascinates me still.

By generously sharing his life’s work that afternoon, turning hands blue…. Dr. Shimomura created unforgettable-ness, enriching my life with grinning remembrance, forever.



Carolyn Lesser

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