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5.25.2011

Keeping both feet on the ground

I hate shoes. As soon as the weather is warm enough to shed them, I go barefoot until the snow flies again. I'm not sure why but I feel a natural connection with the the earth through my feet that keeps me grounded both literally and emotionally. I walk and run on stones, grass, pavement, flooring or whatever. It's been this way all my adult life, and I'm always feel disappointed when the cold weather returns cursing me to bind my feet up in shoes again. I don't even like sandals although I settle for them when I need something on my feet in stores, restaurants and, public toilets.

I don't know anyone else like this. At least, I don't see any other bare feet wandering the streets or under cafe chairs or padding along the ballfield watching their kids play. Everyone has shoes and boots and arch protectors and gel soles while I plod along in nothing at all.

I've been told that the body's nerve endings pass through the soles of your feet and by massaging different parts you can diagnose, help and even cure certain organ ailments. I had a traditional Chinese foot massage in Beijing once and it did nothing for me. I guess I didn't enjoy being handled. But I wonder if my barefootin' connects all these nerves to the Earth to keep me centered.

Right now, while I'm wearing black nail polish in solidarity with Kit's summer of Goth, I suppose my feet stand out even more in public than usual. Not that I've ever cared about that. While at the ballgame tonight sharing stories with a great-grandmother watching her young descendent pitch against Tio, she caught a glimpse of my feet and said "aren't you hip." She could have been saying "It takes all kinds."

I guess I'm officially a member of "all kinds" now, like old ladies with blue hair and old men with nipple high trouser belts.