I wrote the following quote last night for a friend. This morning I realize that is perfect to accompany us on a short stroll we are about to take.

As we “face the winds of the world” stand barefoot on mother earth. If the winds become fierce, go lower and place your belly against hers. In this way we can remain vulnerable, humble and filled with fire-strength to see our vision through.

Our stroll is on a day that it is late morning before enough daylight seeps into the corners of my studio to warrant turning the lamp off. The heavy clouds wrap around me like tangled blankets in a nightmare. We go for an overdue lunch. Our usual walk is only a sultry possibility against pending rain. A drive seems like our best option. Bumping around potholes under the tall trees I have a moment of total defiance. Without comment or signaling (we have met no one on the road in the past fifteen minutes) I dip the old Volvo down a side road to Navy Channel. Once there is it a short slop to the waters edge.

At first there seems to be little to see but gray clouds, flat silvery water and high tides.

Then my attention is drawn to things closer to me – things near my feet.

When was that rock so soft that it squished like that? Or is its smoothness from wave action?

Oh look, there is a rock embedded in that piece of driftwood. How long they have been together? How far have they traveled?

All the while, gentle waves slowly move in and out over the sand, bumping the driftwood and calming my jangled west coast winter nerves.

I become one with the moving water, the stone the wood.

I move closer, crouching. It is here I find my still-point. I find my inner peace within the heavy solitude.

View image in full resolution here.

Okay, we can put our socks and shoes back on now. Yes, that pebble… the one that was caught between your toes – put it in your pocket to remind you.

Sprout Question: When was the last time you were vulnerable and barefoot against the belly of mother earth?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

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15 thoughts on “Barefoot

    • Wonderful Laurie – and your blog link is perfect (and it is a live link:).

      Please, I encourage other readers commenting on Creative Potager to provide appropriate links back to specific pieces of your work whether it is writing, photography, painting or a song – anything that creatively enhances your reply to the post or sprout question. I love rich exchanges – lets go deep and share our combined wisdom. I feel this is what the Creative Potager blog is for – planting new sprigs, seeds, bulbs and dividing a piece off one of our favourite creative plants to share so we grow together. Best of all, I want people meandering through to be able to wander back to your creative garden and see the fullness of your creative success:)

    • Hum, interesting Jerry. Laurie may be able to provide some thoughts from her vast experience with feet. I tend to keep my feet close to surface of the earth when it is warm enough and safe from glass, thistles and hooves – always keep my shoes on in the barnyard or riding (these are no longer often current activities though).

      In this post, barefoot was as much figurative as it was physical. Often times between socks, shoes, layers of cement and parading around several floors above the ground a person forgets (or maybe never knew) what the earth’s natural surface feels like. I believe we need just a few minutes each day to find our center as close to the earth’s natural surface as we can get.

  1. Jerrry –

    Each foot has 7,200 neurological reflex points that map back to organs, glands, systems, sub-systems, emotions we feel, and thoughts that we think. In a way, the “sole” mirrors the “soul.” Reflexology is one of the energy-based modalities that I use in our healing studio. Reflexology consists of stimulating the neurological reflex points to help heal health problems in a natural way. This results in the reduction of stress, which promotes positive changes in the body. It can be used to restore and maintain the body’s natural equilibrium and encourage healing.

    To ease your way into having your feet touch the ground on a more frequent basis (very healthy energetically), you may want to roll a rolling pin with the bottom of each foot while you’re watching television or reading a book. What I do with some of my clients is have them get used to tactile sensations on on their feet by using their toes to move marbles — on at a time — from one bowl to another (again, while reading a book or watching television).

    This also strengthens the infrastructure of tendons, ligaments, joints and muscles that hold the 26 bones of each foot together. In fact, it strengthens everything up to the knee; including the calf muscle. Here’s a link to learn more about the wonderful health benefits of Reflexology:

  2. I understood that “barefoot was as much figurative as it was physical” and it is not something i ever gave much thought to until today.
    (That is what i love about these sprout questions.)
    after much uncomfortable thought about this and the marble thing. Being barefoot or vulnerable is something i reserve for my personal space not out in the world. That is where one requires the most protection, (boots)
    Laurie thank you for the lovely response to my comment it is appreciated.

  3. Terrill, the photographs are breathtaking. These must be the most beautiful surroundings.

    I have a big river nearby, and love to go there when the weather is good, and plant my feet on the big rocks. At those times I can feel earth energy literally being absorbed into my feet. It’s been too cold for the past few weeks and I miss the river.

    We also have a lot of gently-moving streams with little waterfalls everywhere.

    Before moving here from Florida, I loved to walk in the warm wet sand on the beach, just in reach of lapping waves.

    I go for renewal to these places where the water meets the shore, and I always whisper a little greeting to Mother Earth.

    • Thanks Martha, I haven’t always lived near the ocean. I grew up on the Stuart River in North-Central British Columbia, Canada. But wherever I am, I’m drawn to the water as you have described. Mayne Island is beautiful though and we feel very fortunate.

      During the month of February, I’m going to focus on the theme of “home” as part of Leah’s Creative Every Day project. I will hopefully be able to provide an expanded sense of our surroundings.

      Where exactly are located now Martha? I took a quick look at your bio on your An Artist’s Journal blog and didn’t notice a location though you have your work at a number of gallery locations.

  4. I have not been barefoot on the earth since maybe last summer. The foot of snow that covers the earth makes it a little chilly for contemplating that intimacy. Heavy boots insulate against the cold.

    You have made me think, though, how we keep that intimate connection with the earth when it’s so cold. Part of it seems to be surrendering to whatever the earth reveals; being nakedly with the snow, the ice, the frozen landscape.

    (Today, however, we witnessed people taking a “polar plunge” into Lake Superior, jumping into a hole in the ice. They ran barefoot through the snow and leaped into the air before hitting the ice cold water. I am thinking they felt very vulnerable…if they allowed themselves to think…)

    Your photos are beautiful, Terrill.

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