Livi Laree

Science, Social Justice & Writing

Worms in the Rain



Welcome to my feeble attempt at rediscovering who I am (I am not sure if I ever really knew to be honest) and what I want to do in the short time we have on this giant rock floating in space. This is not to say I want to find my meaning or purpose in life necessarily, as that seems a lofty and lifelong pursuit but rather an exploration of my connectedness and relation to the world and other beings in this present moment.

Today it rained all day. When I was a kid I often rescued earthworms off the sidewalk during rainstorms. The little guys had squirmed out of the dirt onto the rain-soaked cement, likely flooded out of their burrows deep in the soil. On the short walk home from school on these rainy days, I would meticulously scan the pavement differentiating twigs from worms, careful not to step on any, and collect them into my closed palm. When I was sure I’d found a dry enough patch of dirt or grass close to my home, I would delicately place all the worms there and say a quiet goodbye and wished them well. Tragedy would come a day or two later when on my way to school I would see the aftermath of the storm. The rain had now stopped and the unforgivable sun was bearing down. The dried-out bodies of the worms I was not able to save littered the sidewalks. I always wished I could do more for the worms, and wondered often what became of the worms I had ferried to supposed safety. Had any of them lived to burrow back home once the rain had ceased?

Tonight I saw the worms. Dozens of them scattered along the sidewalks outside my job as the icy spring rain collected on the asphalt, surrounding their bodies in a puddle that to them, I am sure, emulated an ocean. Conscious of their presence I deliberately sidestepped any worm-like or twig-like shape I passed on my way to the bus stop. I felt a pull as I hurried to the bus, a momentary hesitation. I bent down and plucked a few off the sidewalk (a task you wouldn’t think was difficult until you actually tried it yourself). I placed them on a nearby mound of dirt, protected from the rain by the surrounding skyscrapers. They were so cold as they slid from my palm, but I did what I could.

I have been drowning in puddles lately that to me could be oceans. I feel myself lying on the asphalt naked and exposed, cold and alone, thrashing about not sure how to return to the comfort I built for myself. I doubt anyone is noticing, at least not enough to try to carry me to safety. So I lay here inching along, searching for warmth in the rain.

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About Me

Hey! My name is Livi. I am a travel enthusiast, writer, and biomedical student researcher. I write about my experiences with travel, graduate school, science, and being a womxn in STEM as well as short stories and poems.


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