Growing-Up Barefoot, In More Ways than One!
|06/22/2010||Posted by Jane under bits and pieces|
Summer is here…and it’s a great time to think about being barefoot! Time to stand in the cool grass with no shoes on, allowing the earth to gently draw toxins from your body. Time for pedicures and pink toenails. I’ve been reading posts about running barefoot and about Vibram Five Fingers, which are as close to being barefoot as one can get while wearing shoes. Seems there are Happy feet everywhere!
When I was a girl, I’d come off of the school bus each afternoon and ask my mom if I could go ‘barefooted’. “No”, she’d say, “the ground isn’t warm-enough yet”. Maybe there was some magic temperature at which the ground was “warm-enough”. My guess is that the longer she could delay our barefootedness, the better chance she had at keeping our minds on our homework until school was out for the summer.
Once the shoes came off, they stayed off for the rest of the summer. Wonderful long days…riding bikes, building forts, and running through the woods and creeks. We slept in our treehouse and walked to the Minute Market to buy bubblegum and Pixie Stix…all barefoot.
I grew up barefoot in more ways than one. My maiden name is Barefoot. Most people think it’s Native American. While that would be a proud heritage, my mother has traced the name back to Norway. There was a guy there named Magnus. He was in line to be the next king. In order to prove that he was strong and courageous enough to be the king, he had to walk barefoot across a bed of hot coals. He walked across the coals, and earned the title King Magnus Barefoot. Maybe the story is true. Maybe it’s a legend. It’s a fun name, nonetheless.
Some of our family recently spent a couple of days at my dad’s old farm house, in eastern NC. My niece and nephew, little Barefeet, were there. We had a great time wandering the dirt roads that weave their way around fields of tomatoes, onions, and old tobacco barns. I was delighted when we happened across the “Barefoot Rd” sign, shown in the picture above. We picked strawberries and played with puppies. The dried hay in the strawberry patches was prickly under my feet. The fine, soft soil was warm in the sunshine, and cool just below the surface. The children were happy and free, as was I. There is amazing liberation in bare feet that are dirty from play.
When we were kids, Grandma Mabel would always have us sit on the side of the tub and wash our feet before bedtime. I remember the clean smell, and the feel of the slippery soap bubbling up and cleaning the wonderful farm dirt from my toes. I loved to watch as the warm water rinsed us clean, at-least from the knees down. Refreshed, renewed, and with family, we each snuggled into our favorite cot.
There’s much joy in a barefoot girl like me getting her feet good and dirty. It means I’m alive. I’m wandering among the fields and chasing puppies…and from time to time, it’s good to pick up that bar of soap, and wash it all clean. So go the cycles of life…rest assured the shoes will come off when summertime comes around, and mama says “it’s warm-enough”.
Take good care,