As Mother Nature continues to wreak havoc on this part of the world, stories abound about passenger delays at bus and train stations, airports too. I see photos and watch news stories of frustrated, exhausted and sleep-deprived travelers, clasping suitcases and crying children, nearing wit’s end.
I look down at my feet, robed in wool socks, and reminisce about my own recent travels and daily encounters with Mother Nature. Sure, there was no snow, sleet or freezing rain; but I faced my share of inclement weather. Never mind, says the diehard pilgrim: Through it all – sun, rain and wind – I walked.
With a hint of doubt, I turned instead to my barely broken-in pair of TEVA* sandals. Not sure how they would fare as an all-weather substitute, I jumped in… with both feet.If weather permitted, I wore the TEVAs barefoot. The soles of my feet were closer to touching the earth than they’d been in boots; and I felt as grounded as possible (except if I were to have walked barefoot). When the chill set in, I did the unthinkable, certainly in my niece-the-fashionista’s eyes: I Wore Socks. Yes, I did.
In early November, passing pilgrims, their heavy boots (and sometimes gaiters) laced up tight, would point to my feet with a startled look on their faces. Their faces conveyed the same, often un-articulated, question: Aren’t your feet cold?? (Either that, or: Are you crazy?)
The best answer I could muster was that my feet, though at times chilled, reddened or soaked from rain, were unaccustomed to being shackled in closed shoes; they were infinitely more content and the pain lessened if they could move more freely and BREATHE – in sandals.
So my boots remained deeply embedded in the bottom of my backpack while I gave my feet free reign. And, in the process of walking, I discovered that when Mother Nature meets TEVA + nurture, our feet will support us and take us precisely where we need to go: All the way to the end, and then right back to a beginning…