Today, I participated in one of my favorite rainy day activities: worm saving.
I know that this all sounds very odd, but I’ve always had a fondness for worms. They’re immensely fun to hold. As a little girl, I would pick up the stones that lined my mother’s herb garden to look for them. (I once found one as nearly as wide as my pinky.) And when I was done carrying them around, I’d dig little holes in the ground and bury them, patting the earth three times and saying a prayer that they wouldn’t be eaten by birds. I’m older and wiser now, and I don’t go worm searching anymore, but I always keep my eye out for them. They’re just one of the many things perpetually on my radar.
When it rains, the water washes worms out of the ground and onto paved surfaces where they die by either being eaten by birds, being stepped on, or drying out when the water on the pavement evaporates. It’s tragic. So on days like today, I keep watch for them, and every time I spot one, I pick it up and toss it onto the grass or dig a tiny hole to bury it.
It’s a little thing, a kind of silly sport, but I can’t and don’t want to shake the habit. Worm saving has become just something I do. It feels normal and natural and like it’s my job. Also, a great part of me doesn’t understand why everyone doesn’t do it as well. Isn’t it our job to protect other species that are suffering?
But I know, I know. Worms are “icky,” “gross,” and “dirty.” Touching them is weird. This habit that I am exposing is beyond strange.
But despite all of that, I like to think that it’s the little quirks that really make a person human, and it’s very hard to think of anything quirkier than worm saving.