April 21, 2015
(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day's gift.)
When this new season springs, I am always thrilled with each first—the first crocus, the first daffodil, the first tulip. Just a few days ago, I had been wondering why I hadn’t seen any worms yet. Yes, I may be a grownup, but I also get excited with the first worm sighting. Maybe it is because I associate these creatures with the scent of fresh soil and the color that the dark dirt promises. Many years ago, even though I was a girl and not supposed to like such things, I used to pick up worms and delight in how they wriggled in my hand.
Today, a friend and his two sons stopped by. Shawn, my former middle school student who is now a teacher himself, and I have been friends for a long time. It had been a while since we’d gotten together and the kids must have each grown a few inches—or at least it seemed so. As we sat outside on the back porch, Jude was engrossed in a video game, Minecraft, and admitted with his nine ½-year-old grin that he was better than his dad at playing the game. Younger brother Jack concentrated on Play-Doh, artistically mixing green and yellow, studying how the colors blended and creating a three-eyed monster. Before long, the boys were running about in the yard.
They raced around, staying away from the brush with poison ivy, and then eventually settled on the ground, engrossed in something in the dirt. The kids focused down, cupped their hands and talked quietly. Curious, Shawn and I investigated what had caught their attention. Another first spring sighting! The boys were digging in the dirt and collecting handfuls of earthworms. They stretched out their hands to show us their squirmy treasure. As they were leaving, they put their catch in my flowerpots and told me that the worms would be “good for the soil.” Their dad did not admonish them for getting their hands dirty because, after all, that’s what happens with you collect worms. But before leaving, they washed their hands and then hugged Aunt Bonnie.
My gift today is a handful of worms.