The Consistency of Dirt

I always had dirt between my toes, beginning when I was old enough to toddle, and my parents did not care, having come out west from Chicago, land of the freezing, and I do not remember any scolding for it, surely I would if it existed, walked on blistering asphalt too, never caring if my feet hardened into hooves, all the better to play horse, romping and galloping around the yard;

I went to Hamilton Park bare chested in only white underwear, more like shorts back then, and I will never forget the boys that made fun of me on the merry-go-round, free as they likely would never be, instead targeting a smiling little girl, sun streaking her chestnut hair blonde, but you know, I never went without a shirt after that day, so it must have made quite an impression, the end of innocence, perhaps we all recall this in our lives;

Five years old and off to school, I do not recall rebelling at shoes, only the delight in learning, and walking with neighborhood kids picked up along the way, a small gang of non-thugs back then, the place was safe, ridiculously so compared to these times, our school tucked neatly into the arms of a huge mountain range; breathing fully, natural as a mountain goat, and to think city folks need yoga to teach them what came naturally to children raised
in sunshine and lush surroundings;

Moving to New England after high school gave me another sort of grounding, bare feet tucked into thick socks and boots, but oh, the forest! The lakes! I never missed those barefooted excursions, I would always be nature’s child, wild as the fisher cats and foxes roaming the woods, swimming with the loons and giant bass, naked as there was no one to notice; my new form of bare feet for over three decades, a dance with nature that would always be, both girls raised in the forest, free as too many children will never experience;

Then it was off to Moloka’i, the girls choosing public over homeschooling, local kids walking barefoot to school, their wide brown feet slapping red dirt roads and the one short sidewalk on the way up the hill from the ocean, no chastisement from teachers, families recently freed from pineapple plantation work, and who was there to mandate otherwise? Still I wonder, thirty years later, have the rules changed? Or will there always be places that subconsciously realize we need bare ground under our feet in order to heal this fractured species of ours?

10 thoughts on “The Consistency of Dirt

    1. That’s good to know! I write Renshi (linked) poetry with a group of Hawaiian women, have done so for nearly a decade. The topic was handed to me (her last line, my first) this last round. Fun times. ☺️πŸ₯³

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  1. So beautiful Bela πŸ’• Remembering like this opens more depth and appreciation to what has always mattered. May you find time to go barefoot and feel the connection to times well lived πŸ’•βœ¨πŸ’•

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    1. Thanks, Val! Very sweet. I have had more barefoot years than many, that’s for sure. All those years growing up and then 15 years in Hawaii. Rarely if ever wore shoes. Somehow here wearing them doesn’t bother me too much. Focused on gratitude for what I have been able to experience in this life! πŸ™πŸ˜‰β€οΈ

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    1. If only. These are, however, Age of Aquarius times. We can make this happen, but it takes collective will. 50 years ago, the power of the people was far less, and we knew little compared to now. The internet has, for all its faults, brought us together in global community like nothing before it. No longer must we rely on corporate run media to tell us how things are in other places. We can simply research that for ourselves, and reach out to our online friends in other nations to get some sense of what their reality is. I wish more would do this in current times. Too many are still motivated by fear, and many in power certainly know how exploit that base.

      Anyhow, thanks for taking the time to comment. I welcome your respectful input whenever you feel moved to share it. πŸ™

      Liked by 1 person

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