For the longest time, I’ve been meaning to dress in thinner-soled shoes that allow me to feel the earth beneath my feet. In writing the first draft of my second novel last year, Music of Sacred Lakes, I became even more aware of the importance of reconnecting with the earth around me. Some types of alternative healing therapies even use a physical connection with the earth and trees to facilitate physical as well as emotional healing, with powerful results. But, because we live in a crazy chaotic world, this change wasn’t at the top of my priority list. Until my winter boots wore out.
I didn’t set out looking for moccasins to replace my boots. They found me. You know, one of those shoe shopping trips that feels like an epic quest in a not very positive sense. But then, at the third shoe store twenty miles down the road, there they were. Muckalucks, with soft furry insides and wraparound ties to keep them on my ankles. And thin soles. Finally, thin soles.
This morning, I took my first long walk in the snow in my new boots, and it was a revelation. I could feel the ground beneath my feet, and the impact each step had on my body. I could feel the snow softly crunching underfoot, as well as spraying softly up over my feet. It was like… walking through snow. The way it was meant to be. Without unnecessarily hard barriers between me and the natural world.
This walk brought me indescribable bubbling over joy, and that was when I knew I was really on my way to living my ideal life–even though my first novel is yet to be published and there is no guarantee of success. But it’s the art, the living, that is the goal, really. There have been trade-offs to living a more vulnerable, thin-skinned existence, ones I couldn’t cope with at a younger age, but now… now, they are so worth it. The joy, the writing life, and walking through snow in my moccasins. This is life.