Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Million-Thousand-Million Earthworms

Our six-year-old and four-year-old grandchildren could hardly wait for spring to come this year, looking forward, among other things, to helping me plant the season’s first seeds in our garden.

Today was the day. It was actually a day before the official start of spring, but the weather here along Hamlet Drive was as spring-like as one ever dream of, and before long we had two long rows of sugar snap peas and some onion sets carefully covered with humus-rich Valley soil.

That mission accomplished, for the next hour-and-a-half our Madelyne and Ian, now joined by their very active 18-month-old younger brother Keaton, amused themselves by digging around in some freshly dug garden soil and backyard compost for earthworms. You could have thought they were in Disney World, or had just discovered a back yard full of new Fisher-Price products, but here they were, delighting in earthworms.

“Look grandpa, I’ve found a million-thousand-million of them!” Ian, the four-year-old, exclaims.

Life doesn’t get much better than that, seeing your grandchildren relishing simple pleasures like kneeling in some good dirt and enjoying a soil full of God's humble earth-workers, all devoted to making creation everywhere more fertile and productive.

It was Ian's older sister, at five, who told me last summer, after helping me harvest some of the vegetables we all enjoy, “You know, grandpa, I don’t think I’ll go to college when I grow up.”

“Why not?” I asked.

“Well, I already know how to do so many things, I don’t think I’ll have to go to college.”

“So what would you like to do when you grow up?” I asked.

“I’m going to be a ‘nature helper,’” she said. “I want to teach people about nature.”

I’m sure she’ll  change her mind many times between now and when she gets through high school, but if she were to be able to fulfill her dream of being a “nature helper,” even without going to college, I would feel truly blessed.
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