Monday, March 11, 2013

Listening to the Worms

There is a list of things to do as long as my arm and the scent of resplendence in the air.
I have taken on too many projects again and I just laugh because I know my own rhythms by now.
Last night I stood in my garage, safe and dry from the pattering of rain, and listened to the worms.

We are tucked in a bizarrely quiet pocket of the city and if you catch the moon just right and hold your breath, you can hear the worms.

My beleaguered and patient hydrangea made another move last week from its careless winter pot into a new, more permanent home just outside my kitchen window. I can stand there and pretend to work and silently monitor its growth, mentally catalog each new brave little leaf bud and watch what looked like a pile of forsaken sticks come to life again. Later, when it is much warmer, I am hoping it will reward me with its unparalleled blue hillocks of blooms. Some might say I am unhealthily attached to my hydrangea, but they are not true believers, I believe. The contractors at the old house laughed and took pity on me while I fruitlessly poked around the clay soil that held it captive and in a few swift thrusts, unceremoniously dumped it in a pot for me. They went back to cruelly pruning the camellia and I let them, because that bush wasn't mine to keep. The Niko Blue is mine. All mine. I ordered it specially as a housewarming gift to myself six years ago and have tended it faithfully and fearfully since. I thought it had perished in the move and now, it has proven me wrong. And it has proven me right. I kept the bundle of sticks in its pot all winter long and worried over its demise. Let's see what happens in the spring, I kept saying, refusing to let it go.

There are few things more gratifying than a hope fulfilled.

Last night I stood in my garage and tuned to the frequency of the worms. You can hear their little clicking, struggling sounds as they pop their heads and tails above the soil to catch a sip of rain. All but a few weary stragglers are gone in the morning, safe back in the moist confines of their homes. I gather the wayfarers and bury them around the roots of my hydrangea, offering it treats like the favored child it is, bidding it to grow big and strong for Mama.

It would seem that this is my life, these days, these several years. This is my current calling - to be made ridiculous in my care of small and struggling things. To stand on my head and collect worms and find myself muddied and prostrate only to laugh at the lengths I will leap to in order to nurture. It seems I am constantly uncomfortable, and still yet content. In turns I neglect and nurture near to strangling and it all seems to come out in the wash.

The spring comes again and the sticks start to bud and I can stand in my garage and listen to the worms.

It is the sound of regeneration. It is the scent of resplendence. It is the list as long as my arm that never ends, never grows shorter. It is the unique rhythm of this life. It is the sound of what happens in the spring.

There are few things more gratifying than hope fulfilled.


  1. You have veRy good ears if you think you can hear worms. But I doubt you. (Hahahahaha) Any recordings? Maybe worms are just more quiet in Texas.

  2. I know what you mean about neglect and nurture. I hope it all comes out all right in the end.

    But seriously: do you really hear the worms? Today I read about this room in which a person can hear their own organs functioning and will begin to hallucinate in 30 minutes. Naturally I want to go to there.

  3. You make me want to plant a hydrangea and find worms to hang out with.

  4. "It seems I am constantly uncomfortable, and still yet content. In turns I neglect and nurture near to strangling and it all seems to come out in the wash."

    Yes. Yes. Yes. Spring, it seems, it just on the mind, budding blossoms from our keyboards. I am glad beyond words that it is the second spring I have known you.

  5. I agree with Tara-on being grateful for the second spring with you in my life.

    I love spring and I adore hydrangeas. Are they very hardy? I have some wicked soil in front of my house that kills everything I try to plant. (I think it may actually be the bugs IN the soil, but the result is the same.)

  6. Listen to worms? Wow, even though we are quite a way from the bigger street at night I still hear the cars.

  7. "This is my current calling - to be made ridiculous in my care of small and struggling things." And oh, what a calling it is. Divine ridiculousness, I say.


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