April 1 – Work of the Worm – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

What the worm eats, feeds the root.

The story is told by a member of the Ojibway tribe that the Creator was having trouble keeping the world together, when a little worm said he could help. The Creator paused, and the little worm spun its imperceptible silk, connecting all of creation with the unseeable web. The Creator’s gift to the worm was to let it live forever, allowing that when the little worm enclosed itself in the unseeable web, it would after a time emerge with the thinnest wings full of colour – as a butterfly.

The story tells us that everything in Creation is connected and that what holds it together comes from the humble work of living on Earth. It tells us that the experience of eternity is possible if we immerse ourselves firsthand in the unseeable web of life. It tells us that if we still ourselves long enough within the web of all there is, we will eventually come to know the lightness of transformation.

Humbly, like a little worm, it is in us to work our experience – our pain and frustration and confusion and wonder – into threads of silk And freely, it is in our realm of choice to first connect everything with our experience and then to make a cocoon of those connections. Finally, we can enter that cocoon of experiential connection – the way a Native American sweats in his lodge, the way a yogi holds his third eye, the way a monk maintains his vow of silence – until we emerge wearing our deepest colours for everyone to see.

Amazingly, the Universe is held together by the unseeable threads of our own experience, and our reward for keeping the web of connection alive is that our spirit emerges through what is personal into the centre of All Being. And so, being who we are, we are suddenly enlivened, however briefly, into the web of All Creation.

No matter how important we imagine others to be, it is each of us who holds things together, in our small humble way of working through the days with all that we have. This is the quiet miracle of spinning connection from our very humanness. This humble practice, that no one can stop, is the work of the worm.

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