March 2, 2011
I have earth on my hands and mud underneath my toenails as I type this.
I ran, literally, to the bank this morning to deposit my paycheck.
On my way home, as I walked on top of the grass, wearing my Vibram Five Fingers, I thought about how close I was to the earth. I haven’t put my feet into running shoes since last September; but even in the Vibrams, a few millimeters of rubber separates me from feeling grass, dirt, bark and leaves with the trillions of cells in my feet and toes.
I thought about how the next time I went hiking, I would carry my Vibrams, walk slowly barefoot on the trail. I know people would think I would be walking too slowly, too gingerly to avoid hurting my weak, coddled feet. But what’s the rush? It’s a HIKE. Through nature. No appointments, no end destination. I can walk as slowly as I want to.
And then I realized: why wait for the next hike?
Why not take my shoes off NOW?
So I did.
I walked slowly on the wet grass that edges the streets of Beverly Hills. The cuffs of my yoga pants dragged over glittery grass tips and soaked up dew. The tendons and 106 ligments in my feet and toes, the delicate biomechanicry of the structures that support our entire skyscraper frames, stretched and lengthened, pushed by earth and grass.
It felt great.
And then a Persian man in a minivan pulled up next to me, shouting out his window:
“THAT MUST FEEL GREAT!”
He was beaming.
I beamed back.