Wormfood, 2020

When I was young, we called fat, pale worms with clearly defined segments, bloodsuckers. We saw worms everywhere back then, wriggling on pavements, writhing in soil, hanging from the beaks of garden birds. I rarely see a worm now, not even when I’m digging and planting. Back then, when I called them bloodsuckers, this would have delighted me. That was before I understood how important worms are to the soil. So vital, they are known as ecosystem engineers. Everything on the planet is connected to everything else; cut one thread and somewhere else another snaps, but worms are so fundamental that when they go, eventually will everything else will follow. Snap, snap, snap. Anything that crawls on its belly and eats dirt is going to be a hard sell, but the list of harms we know we are doing to our environment is already long. We are poisoning the earth, our seas, and even the air we breathe. We know what we’re doing, and we know the results. The question is, what will it take to make us change? Perhaps something so horrific, it is beyond our comprehension.