The other day, after a few hours in town with shoes that just rubbed in that one little spot, my feet rebelled and demanded to be set free. So as soon as I finished coffee with a new friend from church at a cute café only one train stop away from home, I decided to go for it and be a little bit hippie.
I kept on the offending footwear for a block or two longer, and then as soon as I reached the big park on the way home, those shoes were swinging from my fingers, and my toes were practically singing with delight. It felt as though they were expanding, changing, molding themselves to fit perfectly into the ground beneath them. They nestled into soft grass, worn pavement, and those hollows that pit the packed dirt. Nestling might sound like a strange way to put it, but I really felt like the ground was welcoming my feet with open and joyful arms.
I walked gingerly, quietly, letting my feet seek out those moments of sweet softness and settle into each step so as to avoid as much as possible the more prickly things in my path. Those steps felt so elastic. Rather than the long stride of shoe-clad heels, my tender feet curled about away from pokes and my knees retained a springy bend. It felt like my feet were reading the surface below them. It felt like they were connecting with the earth.
Of course, I had to scrub my feet with a pumice stone once I got home to get off all traces of my rebellious stroll, but the smile on my face told me it was worth it. In fact, I think I should probably go barefoot more often…