Saving Lives Before Breakfast

How the feeling of saving of life is considered a miracle.

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There’s nothing like saving a life to make you feel great. There’s a profound sense of usefulness, and the joy of knowing you’ve performed a kind of miracle…at least for the one whose life has been saved. 

Recently, I had the experience of saving a life…well, several, actually. What made it even better? I saved them all before breakfast!

Each morning before work, I walk for an hour…about three miles. In my pocket is a pen and a small walking log. Each morning, I give to myself an assignment: before I finish my walk, I must see, hear, smell, touch, taste, or think something for the first time…or in a way that is different from anything I have experienced before.

It’s great for helping me to focus on what is immediately around me, and keeping my mind off the mundane stuff—like work, finances, household—that takes up the rest of my day.

It’s been flooding in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Warm weather and lots of rain after weeks of snow. Bingo…floods. Yesterday, as I took my morning walk, nothing called out to me as particularly different or interesting. What would be my special insight for the day? I was returning to my car along the road at Core Creek Park, and I began to notice that worms had escaped their flooded homes by seeking refuge on the asphalt of the road.

At first I saw dozens, then I thought there were hundreds, then I realized there were thousands, then hundreds of thousands! The further I walked, the more and more I saw…all over the road…for at least a mile. 

Very few were moving. Some were drowned. Some had been squished by early morning traffic. The rest were drying up in the morning sun. 

Now, I’m not a worm enthusiast. They definitely have a “yuck” factor, in my book. But, I do know they create wonderful soil that makes it easier for healthy plants to grow. Once, while walking with my husband Larry, I saw him move worms from the pavement to the grass. “Why do you bother?” I asked. He may have mumbled something about worms being good for fishing. His answer hasn’t stayed with me, but his actions did.

Okay, I’ll save five worms. This is for you, Larry. I poked my finger at a few. If they curled and wriggled and squirmed (eeeek!), they must be alive enough to save. I tried picking them up between my forefinger and thumb. Ooh! Sticky! Well, I couldn’t say I enjoyed it, but it was bearable.

Maybe I can do another five. Now I was kind of scooping them up with a finger and tossing them into the grass. That seemed to work better. 

Fifteen! Why not go for twenty?! I had found a pointed stick by now, and was really going to town.

Twenty-one. Twenty-one lives I saved, and I hadn’t even had breakfast yet. This summer, as I walk along that stretch of road in the heat, I’m going to be noticing the grass…I know it’s going to be the coolest, most refreshing, greenest, stretch of road. 

Feel free to email me your environmental tips and questions! I love to read and answer them.


Reduce          Re-use          Re-cycle           Re-think         Save a worm 


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