Maybe it's because my Sun is in Pisces, the sign that rules feet and ankles, but one of my life's greatest pleasures, and I mean this seriously, has always been going barefoot.
To me, there is something just incredibly sensual and luxurious about feeling the floor, or the dirt, or the grass, or the sand, or the ceramic tiles, or the wood of my deck, or the bricks of my walkway under my feet. It's like making love to the world, over and over and over -- moment, by moment, by moment. It's as if the nerves on the soles of my feet are connected directly to my hips, to my red chakara, to my deepest core. A large part of my practice is being "grounded" and bare feet are the best way that I know to practice that, well, practice as a moment-by-moment meditation.
Walking barefoot through the surf is a huge religious metaphor in my life, a symbol to me of being so blessed by the Earth that you're almost completely unaware of how blessed you really are, the waters of life rushing and flushing and gushing around your ankles, over and over, step by step, never stopping.
Sadly, as I've gotten older, I've also become very sensitive to having cold feet, although I'm still good for a few runs out in the snow or out onto the freezing ceramic tiles of my screen porch every winter, just to remind myself, through the pain, that my feet are alive and can touch the ground. But, most of the winter, I wear warm socks and slippers, cuddling my feet, but denying them what they want most -- contact. Having broken my ankle badly a few years ago (not an uncommon injury for a Pisces), I wear boots with a heavy tread and Yaks Tracks every time there's even a hint of snow or ice. For me, it's like walking around with blinders on or ear plugs that muffle everything.
Which is all a long way of saying that I went out back this afternoon and spent an hour picking up twigs and sticks that have blown down over the winter (my yard was spic and span last Fall, but living in an oak grove has its good points and its disadvantages) barefoot. Every twig and stone and dried up holly leaf "hurt" in some sense, but the sensation of contact with the wet, muddy Earth, the ability to stand with my back pressed tight to the maple tree and feel its roots thrumming and sucking through my feet was almost more pleasure than I could bear (or bare; pun intended). And, then, I came inside and walked barefoot on my old wood floors, through which I can feel so much of what's gone on in this cottage during the 51 years before I came to live here and in the 3+ years since I've been here, as well.
Miss Thing looks at me quizzically; she gets to go barefoot all the time. For me, though, it's an April through October pleasure. And I adore it.
What is it that you love most about the warming of the Earth?
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."