"The smell of worms" was how my siblings and I described rainy days. The staggering amount of these slimy, slithering creatures, which had just escaped from their collapsed and water logged network of tunnels, ensured that after a spring downpour our little brains associated the smell of warm, wet asphalt as the wondrous smell of worms! Even now as I step out onto my back porch and take a deep breath of fresh, fallen rain I'm propelled back to a simpler time. One where the rescue of drowning worms was the biggest worry we had to contend with, and the numerous responsibilities of adulthood still felt too far away to even bother contemplating.
After these spring and summer rains, my brothers and I would wander for blocks, picking up worms, rescuing them from puddles; until the sun dried the sidewalks and the worms, once more, disappeared from view. The only ones left would be the ones who didn't survive the deluge and I remember feeling sad for these little creatures. Back when I was a child and lived in a world where death was relegated to bugs and animals, life was strangely euphoric. We viewed the world as a wonder waiting to be discovered, not as a place that held very real dangers, and very real consequences.
As I got older the glistening edges of my world began to dull. The reality of adulthood began to set in and worries began to pile up. My parents slowly became people... fallible and mortal, and I felt betrayed by a world I thought I knew; but who had been instead holding deep, dark secrets from me. After my first child was born I expected these feelings to get worse. I expected to see predators around every corner, and possible injuries or even death at every turn, but to my delight I found my world began to glisten again. And now after a spring rain, I get to take a deep breath, and rescue worms from sidewalk puddles with chattering little children by my side.