When I was kid, I only wore shoes when I was forced to do so. Even after suffering countless stubbed toes from attempting to stop my bicycle with my bare feet and stepping on frogs and toads hidden in the grass (the latter explaining my intense disdain for the slimy beasts to this day), going barefoot was always preferable to the confinement of shoes. And while my child-mind would most likely not be able to express or even comprehend my reasoning, I think it had much to do with feeling directly connected to earth I trod upon. Shoes were a barrier to that connection.
Fast forward to today.
I rarely go without shoes on my feet. Granted, unless inclement weather forces me to do otherwise, my shoes are almost always sandals or flip flops, but I still feel the need to protect my feet against the many hazards which await the naked foot. I even wear flops in the relative safety of my home, and when my feet are bare, a pair of flops are almost always close by for those times when Buddy Love the daschund needs to make a trip outside.
Except for yesterday.
Yesterday when Buddy starting whining, I realized that I had left my flops in the bedroom. Normally I would have simply gone in there a put them on, but on this day my husband was napping in there after a long flight and I didn’t want to disturb him. Yesterday I braved the back acre of the property with no barrier between my feet and the dangers of a south Texas lawn. Of which there are many:
Along with the obvious hazards of walking barefoot in the yard of a dog owner.
In the five minutes or so it took to walk Buddy Love through the back yard to take care of his business, I could think of little else other than these dangers which might potentially befall my naked feet. Gone was the little girl who thought nothing of stubbed toes and the squishy deaths of amphibians and only of the freedom of running unencumbered through the grass. She had been replaced by a middle-aged woman concerned more about discomfort which might befall her than the simple pleasure of feeling the cool grass beneath her feet.
Some say dogs are acutely sensitive to their human’s state of mind. If that’s true, maybe Buddy took an opportunity to reach out to that little girl long forgotten and simply say,
And just enjoy the moment we’re in right now.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off the walk barefoot in the grass.
but by choice.
“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”