Walking up the steps, out of the basement floor of a governmental building, I stop when I spot a small earthworm in my path. S/he is still moist, so I bend to see whether or not s/he is still alive. (Worms are hermaphrodites, possessing both male and female genitalia for purposes of efficient biological reproduction.)
We have had several days of relentless rain and ice; and, the poor creature is at least twenty-five to thirty feet from any actual ground, being fully surrounded by impenetrable concrete. The earthworm probably landed here after trying to escape the flooding of her/his home.
As I bend closer, the worm moves ever so slightly. I take this as an answerto my inquiry. So, I finish bending over to pick her/him up and proceed to walk forty-five feet to a grassy place at the base of a young tree, standing on the building’s grounds.
The worm does not have much fight or kick left. (I know this because I sometimes perform this service of moving worms from concrete and asphalt to grass, after severe rainstorms, on my regular walks.) One passerby looks at me inquisitively.
But, the way I figure it is this. If I were that worm, I would rather have the opportunity to burrow back into the earth and expire in terra firma–closer to home–than to become dried to a crisp and cross over after having become too tired from hopelessly lurching across asphalt or concrete.
Where is home for you?