Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me.
The rain had come down in torrents, drumming loudly against the windows and roof. She had lain awake for hours in the middle of the night, watching for the dazzling bolts of lightening and anticipating the subsequent bangs of thunder. She thought back to her childhood, when someone, maybe her mother, had told her that if she counted the seconds between the flash and the boom she count the miles to where the lightening had touched down. She was not sure now, hiding under the mess of blankets on her bed, that there was more than half a second between the two.
The next morning she pulled rain boots on over her pajamas and went outside with her son to wait for the school bus. More alert than she, he noticed the worms right away. They were all over the driveway, dozens of them, stranded on the paver stones. Although the lawn was still soaked, the driveway was drying quickly, and the worms were going to die. We have to save them!, her son insisted.
They each picked up twigs that had come down from the trees the night before, and slowly began lifting up the worms and flinging them back into the grass. They wished each one well before launching them back to safety: Go home! Back you go! Find the mud! Sometimes her son used his fingers when he couldn't get the worm to stay on the twig, and she imagined that he was giving them little finger hugs before sending them sailing through the air, the only flight they'd ever experience.
They had saved each and every one just before the school bus rolled up in front of their house. They hugged and kissed, and she went back inside smiling at her son's compassion for the helpless creatures, the lowest of the low. Still tired from her sleepless night, she walked slowly up the stairs and crawled back into her bed, her own safe place.