Spring Flings and Flies!

Yesterday was the first day of Spring. March 20th, 2012. Words to describe the day that transitioned us formally from winter’s slumber to springs enlivening growth in Kansas City, include: balmy, wet, and seasonal. The temps were in the low 60’s and rain fell in consistent but not drowning drops all day. Despite the rain, the kids and I had three grocery store errands to accomplish. This is their preschool Spring Break week so they came along on my usually solo trek through town.

After running through rain and puddles in and out of stores, we were home again with lots to unload. Increasingly more helpful, they each took a load of food into the house. When Andi came back out, I was still unloading the van. Studying the soaked driveway, she looked up at me and exclaimed, “Worms! Mom, worms. Lots of worms!”

Back story: When Andi was almost 2, in the Spring of 2010, Eli was at school and I felt led to give Andi her first “creation care” lesson. There were worms all over our driveway, flushed out from an early morning rain, that were quickly drying up as the sun came out. I’m not usually a worm fan, I’m actually squeamish, dislike rainy morning runs that turn into worm hopping exercises, and avoid fishing with anything live on the end of a hook. That day however, something in me couldn’t let the worms die on my driveway. I looked around and saw most of the worms had congregated on my driveway, my neighbors were worm free. Seemed like this was indeed our specific divine task in a lowly circumstance.

Important to know about Andi is that she has always had a heart for animals; they delight her. She giggles when she plays with dogs, she chases birds freely and without discouragement, and stops to stare at bugs. She’s a non-discriminating animal appreciator. It was easy on that April day in 2010 to sell Andi on our task: “We need to rescue the worms. They need to get back to the dirt before they dry out. Will you help me carry them to the grass?” I went inside to get gloves and when I had come back out, Andi was already rescuing worm #1. I squirmed my way through and picked them up in a gloved hand while Andi industriously and barehandedly rescued worm after worm.

We haven’t kept up too consistently on this task so I was surprised and delighted when she yelled out yesterday when spotting the worms. She remembered they needed a rescue ride to the dirt but was hesitating yesterday about the sliminess.  Now she’s almost 4 and into princesses and ballerinas as well as animals. She asked for gloves and this time I got brave instead of getting gloves. I picked up the first worm and flung it into the grass. “See…they don’t even really feel like anything in your hand.” And this was true! We went on to pick up and fling the 6 worms on our driveway back to their homes deep in the grass. We really were flinging them, hope they didn’t mind the exciting ride!

After we flung the last worm, I realized the side and back doors of the van were still open from the unloading process. I went to shut the side down and was shocked to see a BIRD! frantically flying around the inside of the van! I screamed. It flapped and banged into the windows a couple of times before finding its way out the back hatch. At my scream, Andi had come running to the van so she saw the bird’s desperate flight from the van. She was surprised but mostly completely enjoying the silliness of my scream and the excitement of a creature of nature visiting her car seat!

The rest of the day was more subdued, but by 1pm yesterday, Spring had definitely awakened us and we are ready to participate as we can in the life generating processes of this season.


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