I’ve been walking the Earth in my bare feet.
Every morning (or afternoon, as the day dictates), I strap on my crossbody bag, slip on my thong sandals, bound down my steps and make my way to the beloved cemetery/arboretum/community garden in my neighborhood. Years of daily running and walking have created a natural path around the periphery of its fifty acres, and once I reach the path’s mouth I slip off my sandals, clip them to my bag, and bare my soles to the dew-drenched ground.
It feels just as delicious as you think it does, Beauty.
I started this practice after watching “The Earthing Movie,” a documentary that explores how the simple act of digging your toes into the grass (or sand, or dirt) can potentially alleviate inflammation and the symptoms it causes.
It makes intuitive sense to me that we need the Earth in this fundamental way. We “grew up” and evolved in her embrace. Until very recently, we slept and worked and played on her surface. As much as we try to forget, we rely on her for everything. It’s through her grace that we’re even here at all.
A week before I stumbled across the documentary, my family and I spent a few days at an organic farm in Raleigh. We fed chickens and pigs. We creek-stomped, searching for butterflies and crayfish. We pet pigs and rode the pendulum of tree swings. And we put our bare feet on the Earth because it was the most natural thing to do.
I’ve lived in the city for sixteen years. Looking back, very little of the time I’ve spent here has been shoeless; after all, you never know when you’re going to stumble on a scattered collection of broken glass, rusty screws, or a rust-eaten aluminum can. This ever-present human trash blanket keeps you on your toes and keeps those toes in your shoes. It never occurred to me that I was denying myself a natural healing practice, and even worse, that I was denying my daughter the same (she walks barefoot with me too).
There was no buy-in for this, no psychological, financial, or emotional risk. So, I decided to go for it. I haven’t been “tracking my progress” or trying to measure an improvement in my feelings. If I’m being perfectly honest, I’m getting a little tired of thinking about myself. But I can tell you this: two days ago, I was sitting in the shade of my daughter’s favorite tree, peering at the recently renovated carriage house of the eighteenth-century mansion nestled at the back of the cemetery. There’s an alpine tree that grows beside the house and that extends its trunk and branches far higher than its roof. I love looking at its silhouette, so beautifully outlined by blue sky and whirling tendrils of ivory clouds, and I was doing just this when it occurred to me that I felt in perfect harmony with my environment.
Suddenly, my mind received the bird’s chirping–what a gorgeous cacophony. I saw each bee buzzing around each flower. I felt the wind rolling across my cheeks and the warm heat of the sun soaking into the few toes that had inched their way beyond the protection of the shade. And a feeling of infinite abundance and benevolence washed over me, and I felt Gaia’s primal love.
It was pure magick, Beauty.
I spoke to this experience earlier this year during Venus Vibes month in the Mind Witch Coven, and it aligns so closely and beautifully with what I’m sharing here that I decided to share it with everyone. What better way to reaffirm my place in the cosmos than through sharing myself with it?
So Much Love, and go Take a Walk on Gaia, Beauty!