Rain, Worms and Politics

Each time a hard rain comes, I can count on two things: lots of usnea on the ground and many worms struggling to survive in my carport.

Worm 1

We’ll visit the medicine of usnea another day; today I want to explore Worm Medicine.

Sometimes when I save the worms, they are so exhausted from their struggle to find a safe place (namely, a section of earth that’s not completely saturated), or so covered in pollen and dirt, they are easy to pick up, rinse off and place gently in a bowl of soil.

Worms

Some worms, however, are fresh out of the water and they’re just small enough and strong enough that they struggle to get away from me, and tending to these worms is a challenge. I have a really hard time picking them up. On occasion I accidentally tear one, and I hate when that happens. It’s not my intention to hurt them.

Broken Worm

I see the value of worms. I understand what they represent; they enrich my heavy clay soil, and make tunnels, allowing water and air to nourish the earth. Their castings bring nourishment to plants. Good bacteria and fungi are more present in areas where earthworms are abundant.

I love them.

Sometimes, when conditions outside their control occur, they can no longer stay in their homes, so they are pushed to the surface of the earth and they struggle to survive. (The birds are really grateful for this, but the situation isn’t always happy for the worms).

When I can get to them before the feathered ones, they go into a container of moist soil. After the rains, they are usually placed in one of my herb beds.

Temp Home

While tending to the worms this morning, I was thinking about the decision that the senators of MS made to pass the House Bill 1523, wondering how I could possibly make a difference in my community, in my state, when my state representives most definitely do not represent me.

I can send letters to my senators.

I can announce to all and sundry, “Come to the Holistic Center. I will not judge you or turn you away. You are accepted, loved and supported here, no matter what you believe and no matter your sexual preference or identity.”

I can use my privilege as a white, straight woman to speak up about what equality means to me and I can choose how I walk this earth in integrity.

I can love and accept and welcome those who hold completely opposite views. Because when I hold resentment and defensiveness and hate in my heart, it’s still hate. And in the deepest part of my heart, I know that hate can hurt us; it can freeze us; it can kill us. Even if we feel it’s justified.

And so I look for something to do that can generate compassion in my heart.

I speak up for my loved ones, my friends and myself.

I offer my work and my space to anyone whose heart hurts because of this painful step backwards that our state is preparing to take.

I save worms.

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About Dana Tate Bailey

I am an Integrative CranioSacral therapist, Earth Medicine practitioner, and ceremonial herbalist, specializing in integrative mind-body therapies, and I work and teach at the Holistic Center in Tupelo, MS.
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