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I’ve Got Worms! I’ve Got Worms!

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Oh, wait. That doesn’t sound good. No, I’m fine, no parasitic infections here. Instead, imagine post subhead “Unexpected moments of grace.” (Won’t it be cool when I actually figure out how to do stuff like that? You know, fancy things like subheads?) I supposed another subhead could be “Don’t worry, I don’t need medicated for this.”

I actually could have shared this particular good news with you earlier, but I didn’t want you to think I was weird. Weirder. At least not before you knew me a bit better. But it IS good news, honest it is.

You see, I’m a vermiculturist. Or at least I wanted to be last year after my dad and I went to the Big Garden Show, otherwise known as “All the Pretty, Pretty Flowers, Buy Some More Pretty Flowers.” We met this CRAZY enthusiastic dude who composted with worms. Big red shiny earthworms, which would turn all of our table scraps into beautiful, beautiful dirt. Now, right here, I know you’re probably thinking “Worms, Tara, worms? You got excited about worms? Are you SURE you don’t need medicated?” But he was SUPER excited, and besides, do you know what I have in the ground in my yard?

Clay. Red, hard-packed, thick, sticky clay. Not conducive to growing much at all, except apparently slugs. And the worms were going to turn scraps and leaves and my junk mail into beautiful, nutritious black earth. It all seemed very eco-responsible and exciting and, you know, earthy. I admit it, I got caught up in the worm excitement!

So my dad and I bought big special plastic worm bins and special coconut shreds for worm bedding and Dad found himself a worm wrangler and one day showed up at my house with my pound of special red wrigglers. ‘Cause you can’t use just any earthworm, I guess they aren’t all equally well-behaved in captivity. The wild ones must long too strongly for the great outdoors, something like that.

All last summer, I fed my worms, first with great excitement, and then with less excitement, and then with a touch of duty. Classic me, really. Get all excited about something new, learn about it, jump in with both feet. And then come fall, I was feeding the little guys with a bit less consistency, and I couldn’t find a great place to put their bin. My hubby had been more than patient with having them in the entryway for 2-3 months, but I had to agree it didn’t really give the whole mid-century/Crate and Barrel/Pottery Barn/Whatever as Long as It Isn’t Worms Decor message we were going for.

The worms got moved to the back deck, school started, we got really busy, and in late November I realized I hadn’t fed them in a week or three. Then we had a really cold snap. A good hard freeze, and I thought, “well, Worm-Sicles for sure.  Guess I screwed that up.” The guilt was crippling. OK, the guilt was perfectly manageable. But I still beat myself up pretty good about the wasted money and how my dad would be disappointed (funny how you still think about that even though you’re a grown person), and how dumb I’d been not to be more consistent with them. So there they sat, all winter. Never touched them. Hadn’t fed them since.

But on (slightly guilt-laden) prompting from my dad a couple of weeks ago, I checked my vermiculture bins, and glory be, I still have a number of very happy worms, and a crop of baby worms!

I know, it’s just worms. But it’s moments like this when I get a little glimpse of the undeserved grace in my world, grace that has no right or reason to be, grace that permeates far more of my moments than I recognize. And for one moment, I am humbled sufficiently to see that grace, and it is good, really good, to have worms.

How about you? Any moments of undeserved grace lately, with or without worms?

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2 responses »

  1. Congratulations!! And now that some of them lived they need to be blessed in return. They would love some bananas, apples, and cake.

    Reply
  2. According to your Dad’s comment, it looks like worms and I have similar tastes in our love for bananas, apples, and cake. ;o)

    Reply

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