This morning, I took a walk around my neighborhood. Along the way, I noticed a tiny earthworm – a baby, really – struggling on the sidewalk.
Earthworms invariably make me think of Sam’s preschool years. He was obsessed with returning them to the grass before they dried out. Saving earthworms was not just a favorite activity. It was his duty as a human being.
I squatted in the middle of the sidewalk and touched the tiny worm. It curled into a ball, and I picked it up. The worm squirmed harder. “Look here,” I said. “Here’s the grass. This is your home.” And I placed the worm on the earth.
To my surprise, it wriggled back onto the pavement. “Silly worm,” I thought. But then I looked up at the sky. And all at once I realized it hadn’t rained yet. This worm wasn’t trying to get back to the earth. It was trying to escape it. It knew that the rain was coming, and when it came, any worms left in the ground would drown.
Nature knows, I thought.
Have you ever felt the rain coming? Have you ever smelled snow? When was the last time you went outside? Did you notice? Or were you so obsessed with getting from the house to the car or from the car to the office or the mall that you missed it?
The weather man can’t tell you anything you can’t discover for yourself by opening your own front door. Turn him off.
Nature knows, and so you can you. If you’re present.
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