Monday, May 9, 2011


Yesterday I was digging in a flower bed, moving the very clay-filled soil to the back of the yard where a tree fell over leaving a big hole. The soil was wet and heavy from all of the recent rain, and, of course, filled with worms. I was reminded of digging around in flower beds or on the edge of the field, finding worms with Marvin. He called them "juicies". It was never our sole purpose, but when we found them, we spent a little bit of time with them and moved them to a different area, out of our way. Worms, after all, are good for the soil.

I never was afraid of worms or thought they were gross. They were pretty fascinating to me. I think because of the way we would discover them...digging, revealing a new layer of dirt, and then suddenly there would be a worm, thrashing around, appearing grumpy and disturbed. We would pick them up to move them. If the worm was in tact, it would wriggle like crazy in our palms. If we had cut it in half, we'd toss it aside, believing that it would turn into the soil in which it lived. I think we also had debate as to what they ate...soil or bugs.

I can only assume Marvin called them juicies because they look juicy. Yesterday I noticed that the ones I picked up and held left a sticky, shiny slime in my palm. I picked one up in particular because it was super long and then shrunk to about half its length once it realized it was exposed. It was so small in my hand. I put a lump of dirt in my palm with it, wondering if that would comfort it and make it feel like expanding again. It didn't. I looked at it a while, thinking about how something like a worm was so entertaining and fascinating to us. We were so intrigued by the creatures, we felt the need to define their lives: what they ate, how they made their homes underground, who they hung out with, etc. Soon I put the shrunken worm back in a different bed. I was now attached to this worm (as much as one can be attached to a worm) and didn't want to chop it in half.

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