Today I stepped out onto the front yard, and a sharp pebble stuck my toe. I squeaked and jumped.
When I was a little girl, I played barefoot kickball in the cul-de-sac with the neighborhood boys. You had to run fast because of the steamy black asphalt.
There was no way to cross the creek in shoes. You had to remove them and grasp them in your hand, and cross keeping balance on the slippery river rocks.
Feet were used for kicking away branches as you made a path through the woods, for poking at the neighbor’s dog, for jumping high in the air over the lake, landing with a splash.
Later my feet were manipulated like crazy. Smashed into pointe shoes 3 times a week, and taps and bare feet slapping the wood floor to move modern. The pointe shoes bent my toes and twisted my ankles, I would wear them for days.
My feet have become soft: blistered from impossibly high heels, and polished with pink. They aren’t for barefoot playing anymore, they are used to tromp through airports, press the gas petal, run for the elevator.
New motto: be barefoot as often as possible.