Thick sheepskin boots have been replaced. Slowly I gave up on socks but kept sturdy clogs at hand. Flip-flops after a shower lead to abandoning all appropriate footwear and feeling the grit on tender skin. It’s a time of shedding and renewal that doesn’t come without some pain. A perfect metaphor for life.
Hanni didn’t make it home as planned. It doesn’t matter why, it was a disappointment I hadn’t counted on. Like stepping on a sharp pebble.
Alice, of course walks barefoot all the time. Her perfect, garlic-bulb feet tap like a ballerina through the house. Though she does an Irish jig when the snow gets too cold, she has stoutly refused to wear boots.
Walking barefoot has other pitfalls. Large spiders have suddenly hatched from wherever they hide all winter and stepping on one is enough to cause a temporary coronary infarction. If the toilet is the nearest body of water, my foot is going in to remove the gooey guts as fast as possible. Then there’s the dribbled dog bowl water. If there was a recent visit to the watering hole, the kitchen floor tiles are a slip-‘n-slide against bare soles.
The renewal comes from knowing it is still me inside the raw skin. Like all minor bruises, whether to the heart, the body or even the soul, we toughen with healing. I took a day to recuperate. Plans had to be rearranged. I had thought I would be on vacation. Scuttling menus and goals for the week I looked ahead to fill the void. Instead, I worked to carry out all those chores that will make the coming season welcome – washing windows and installing screens – letting light into my life. I miss my days of following the light breezes and the sun with my laptop, working through thoughts and crafting images. Today I put that creativity to advertising and brochures I have had no time for.
Alice is just happy to have me here for the day. You wouldn’t think so as she mutters around behind me like an old Asian grandmother, but I know she is pleased I’m walking barefoot.
Thank you to all who worried about my sanity today. My disappointment and frustration with changed plans and dashed hopes are merely sharp stones in the path.