The grass smells fresh. The sun warms my face. It feels so good to finally be released from “lockdown” and go for a picnic. I hear Chris and Billie talking at the water’s edge. Bees buzz among the flowers nearby. Ellie lies beside me, looking up at the sky.
“Look at all the birds, mummy!” I open my eyes to see a flock of birds flying in formation above us. The bird in front changes direction and the flock instantly follows.
“How do they know how to all fly together?”
Ellie knows about “lektrissity” since Billie, older by a year, got a book about it for his birthday two weeks ago. We read how electricity governs our bodies and the earth – it’s everywhere.
“They can sense the earth’s magnetic field with their beaks and see it with their eyes. And their feathers are like antennas and can sense electricity. And they use something called “magnetite” in their heads to connect to the earth’s fields so they know where to fly.”,
“Do we have ‘mag-tite’, too?”
“Yes, we do, behind the top of our noses.”
“So why’ve we got a satnav (GPS system) in the car, then?”
I laugh. “Because we forgot how to use our magnetite!”
Ellie absorbs this as she gazes at the bees visiting the flowers. Finally she asks, “How do the bees know where to find the flowers with the most pollen?”
“They can see electric fields from the flowers. They pick up the pollen through magnetism. The bees have a positive charge and the flowers a negative one. Do you remember that from when we were playing with the magnets? They attract each other.”
“Yes”, says Ellie. “Do we have ‘lektrik feelz, too?”
“Yes, we do. Our whole body is electrical. Our bones, muscles, brain and blood., Our heart has a huge electrical field. It goes out 4 metres around us.”
Ellie lays her hand on my bump. “Will Baby be able to feel our heart love feelz?”
I smile. “Yes, Ellie. Baby will be able to feel how much we love it! When we are with someone, our electrical field reaches out to theirs and they mingle.”
Ellie is silent, thinking. “Gran couldn’t feel our heart love feelz during the lockdown, mummy. We couldn’t hug her.” She looks sad.
I push her hair back off her forehead. “She was sad, too, that she couldn’t hug you.”
“What about if you’re cross with someone?”
“Unfortunately, people feel that, too.”
Read more: For Life on Earth: Worldwide Web of Life