Thursday, January 24, 2013

Saving earthworms

Note: This post was supposed to be an update on me and Ellie. Instead it turned into a long and rambling essay on earthworms. So, I'll give the update first, and then if you want to read about why I'm thinking about earthworms, you can.

Ellie's Joker smile after an incident with the green marker this morning.
Update: Hi! We're still alive over here. I haven't been posting much in the last couple weeks, and I'm sorry. I've been very busy finishing my wedding album on Shutterfly, and today I ordered it! I'm so excited. It's the biggest photo book I've ever made - 111 pages - and the most deluxe, too. I went all out on this one, since it's our wedding album. When it comes, I'll post pictures and a review of Shutterfly's new layflat photo books!

Ellie's been sick this week. She threw up a couple times on Tuesday morning, and has had lots and lots of foul diarrhea since then. Stinky doesn't begin to cover it. Foul. Jason thinks she has rotavirus, and I completely agree with him. (It's kind of odd, though - she was immunized against it. Hmm.) She has all the symptoms, and the awful stench of the diarrhea is actually one of the things they sometimes diagnose it by. She seems to be doing okay, but we're worried about her getting dehydrated. She's not eating or drinking as much as normal. We're trying to get as much fluids into her as possible and keeping a close eye on her hydration level.

Now, earthworms.

It's raining here today. I love when it rains. I love how it changes everything, makes everything more exciting.

When I was a kid, rainy days were some of my favorite days. We would have rainy day schedule at school, where we stayed inside our classroom during recess and lunch and ate and played all together in our warm room. After school, Alyse and I would put on our raincoats and rainboots, get a bucket, and go outside to rescue earthworms. We'd walk up and down the whole street, scouring the rain-filled gutters for the poor little worms that had come to the surface during the rain and then got swept away into the rushing waters. We'd scoop them out, save them, and put them safely in our dirt-filled bucket. After literally hours of rescuing earthworms from certain doom, we'd bring back our earthworm-filled bucket and dump it in our flower bed. (Which my mom loved.) Sometimes we'd sit and watch the worms burrow down into their new earth. Other times we'd go straight back to the gutter to rescue more worms.

After writing that story out and rereading it, I just thought of that starfish story - you know, the one where there's a boy on the beach, throwing all the washed-up sea stars back into the ocean. And some guy walks up, and sees the thousands of starfish on the beach, and says to the boy, "Why are you doing that? Look how many thousands of starfish are here. You'll never be able to make a difference." And the boy throws another starfish back into the ocean, looks at the man, and says, "It made a difference to that one."

That's how I felt about my earthworm adventures as a child. It was so hard to go back inside when it was raining - if I stayed out a little bit longer, watched the gutters a little bit more, I would be able to save more worms. And if I went back inside, no one would be there to save them and they would drown. It was so hard to stop and go back inside. I did the best I could, but never felt satisfied.

And I still feel that way today. Many, many times since my childhood, I have felt a sense of duty on rainy days to go outside and save the worms. If I don't save them, who will?

Today I went outside with Ellie and showed her the water in the gutter at the end of the driveway. While she was laughing and putting her feet in the water, I saw a little earthworm being swept along in the torrent. I reached in and, after a minute of him sliding out of my fingers, fished him out. I set him down on a relatively dry patch of dirt by a sprinkler, and, after a minute, he started wiggling his way into the ground.

Anyway, that's my history with rainy days and earthworms. I love rainy days. I just always feel kind of bad for all the poor earthworms that fall prey to our unforgiving asphalt and concrete infrastructure. One day I'll live somewhere where there's a higher ratio of dirt to concrete, and I won't be so worried about the worms. Until then, I'll save them when I can.

1 comment:

  1. haha. you crack me up and I love you. :) Poor Ellie! I hope she gets better soon!


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