Bare Feet

Bare Feet: Photo by Noelle

Bare Feet: Photo by Noelle

I remember Wayne Dyer speaking of walking on grass in bare feet whenever he couldn’t sleep. He traveled so much that he’d learned to do this whenever it was possible and found he slept well, with little jet lag. He believed the body finds rhythm when it touches, intimately, the earth.

Sleep, for this menopausal woman, is an art form I am determined to master. So sandals in hand I stepped onto the grass. The sprinkler system had run earlier and the grounds were all wet. The water was cold, but the air warm enough it wasn’t unpleasant. I began walking the lawn planning on a tour or two before donning my shoes and finishing my walk. I found the cool, soft feeling of the grass so pleasant though, that I lingered.

After a time, I stepped out onto the cement sidewalk, and then the hard-packed dirt and scrub grass of the further path. Each sensation registered in my feet with acute awareness. Seeds stuck to my soles, some hard and older, many soft and fuzzy. I felt the ragged edge of a stone and the cushioned step of a bed of dandelions. A burr in my little toe stopped me short and was remedied just as quickly. Without shoes each step registered clearly in my mind. The weight and length of each stride became a mantra of sorts. Surfaces were rough or soft, warm or cold, hard or permeable and the impression of each experience kept me keenly aware of where I was. Not merely lost in thought, but lost in sensation.

I walked without shoes for almost an hour.

When I was a child I spent all summer free of shoes. My soles would be tough as shoe leather by summer’s end. I traveled woods and lakes, streams and bogs. I loved adventures that involved climbing trees and hopping stones. Huck Finn had nothin’ on this tom boy knee-deep in lake muck looking to catch a painted turtle. As I walked I thought a lot about her, skin tanned, shins scabbed and dirt under every single fingernail.

After a day in front of computers, breathing canned air and pondering life under fluorescent, I find she is a welcome visitor to my mind and my feet. She pushes out a sterility that has settled in on the shirt tail of professional attire, heels and security badges. The walk has turned from an exercise in sleeping to one of being awake.

If anyone’s interested I slept seven hours straight. Thank you, Wayne….

21 thoughts on “Bare Feet

  1. Yup, exactly. It’s warm here this week and I have been putting on shorts and sitting in the grass in the afternoon sun, just closing my eyes for a few minutes and listening to the crickets. I’ve been sleeping pretty well too.

    I suspect that a large part of what our society calls menopause symptoms actually has more to do with the cumulative effects of the modern world’s stresses, along with today’s unnatural diet. Feeling much healthier since I started eating kale salad regularly, with lemon vinaigrette dressing, yum.

  2. Wish I had known this remedy “back in the day”. Since you have been writing about the grass, I try to avoid tennis shoes and stick with the sandals so I can feel the coolness of the grasses no matter the time of day.

  3. I love this post Noelle. I remind myself often to walk on the earth, but sadly do not follow through with it as often as it crosses my mind. I feel him with us in such a profound way since his passing, a true ascended master. I started peri-menopause at 38….this will come in handy. Have a beautiful day and wishing you sound sleeps and sweet dreams.

  4. This is remarkable as I had a similar experience recently. My wife and I walked a so called Barfusspfad (barefoot path) in Germany. It was an hour’s walk over sand, pebbles, logs, grass, treebark chips, through ankle deep mud and at the end one coul walk through knee deep spring water. It was so delightful. We plan to do this more often together. I also intend to take my mindfulness trainees as a special treat.

  5. What a beautiful post. We used to go bare feet as children all the way down to the beach and back including across the main road, it brought back this memory and an awareness that I hardly ever let me feet have contact with the Earth these days. Sometimes at night under the stars or in a wood under the trees with the sunlight coming through I like to lie down on my back and feel the Earth supporting me as I enjoy the beauty above. It’s grounding for me in a similar way. Have a lovely weekend my friend.

    • I walked barefoot again tonight. I really has an impact on you, literally. You feel more connected. Seems such a simple thing, but there’s no question you are right. The earth is a living being.

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