Earthworm

One week remains before Hsuan’s English classes begin, and he has already made friends with the one other new Taiwanese student!

I felt like a proud mom, watching from the sidelines as he played some icebreakers and learned about avoiding plagiarism and experiencing culture shock in slowly spoken, simple English.

Later in the afternoon, we walked around the neighborhood, when suddenly, we encountered an earthworm on the sidewalk. To any other person, this would not be a cause for concern. After all, there were many earthworms, mostly dead, scattered on the hot afternoon concrete. And yet, when he realized this one was still alive, Hsuan did something that genuinely surprised me. We had already walked past it, and after thinking about it briefly, he jogged back and looked for a twig to move it back to the grass. I was shouting at how ridiculous he looked, when a neighbor suddenly appeared behind me and asked what he was doing, to which I responded incredulously, “He’s saving an earthworm!”

That’s not all. After walking a bit more, as I was questioning his efforts, we saw another one, hardly moving but still alive. Again, he scrambled to find another twig, picked the worm up, and dropped in on the grass, before exclaiming that he actually needed to move it into the shady area of the grass instead.

Despite being stunned beyond belief, I thought about what a beautiful soul he had, believing so deeply that he needed to save not one, but two earthworms. “I didn’t feel like it was right,” he insisted, in response to the option of leaving it to be.

I did not have my phone with me at the time, but the image of him crouched over the earthworm, attempting to save it with a twig, will be forever etched in my mind.

Yet another reason I love this very special man.