As a little girl I grew up spending my days running around in the great outdoors, be it on grass, gravel, mud or sand without wearing any shoes. This was considered normal in my neck of the woods and almost all the children and even grown-ups tended to do it. Being at home and wearing shoes was considered to be rather the anomaly as opposed to the other way around.
If I remember correctly I had two or three pairs of shoes for specific occasions; one for school, another for going to town and a pair of ‘stay at home shoes’ for when the winter season set in. It wasn’t so much that we were of diminished means, rather than the fact that it was a matter of the lifestyle of those living in that area.
I grew up in a small village called ‘Ezingonyameni’ (The Lions), in a little town called Mt Fletcher, with my two brothers and sometimes 4 or five cousins depending on who was living with us at the time. We were all being raised and cared for by my grandmother, a not so uncommon occurrence in my culture.
Since life, for a child, revolves around playing, eating and sleeping, we never even noticed or cared that much about material things, least of all shoes. We were all too happy to be free to run, jump and play unencumbered. After years of walking barefoot, the feet adapt to the hardness of surfaces and develop a strong protective layer if I may, that makes going barefoot manageable. I never noticed this happening to me until years after when I’d relocated from my grandma’s and moved to a more urban area. It came to my attention one day that not all of my city friends were willing or able to walk on very hard or hot surfaces for too long without complaining. I reacted to this as a child would, I started to dislike the fact that the soles of my feet were so strong, and could endure so much more than my friends, I wanted to be more like my friends- to have more vulnerable, softer soles. It embarrassed me endlessly that I was different in this way.
It would take me years before I would learn from reading from books and speaking to spiritual friends of mine, about the value of walking barefoot. To learn about being grounded, about the nurturing energy of the earth and the energy centres at the soles of our feet. Decades later would my long term embarrassment turn to deep appreciation and wonder?
I would discover in my thirties just how much confidence is gained by being in direct contact with the earth, how rooted one becomes, how grounded. I would find myself looking for any and every opportunity to dig my feet deep into warm grass or earth just to feel connected.
I’ve rediscovered for myself that earth energy heals and that my healing started a long time ago- before I even knew it as healing. I now look back to my younger years and with deep appreciation and love, I cherish those experiences of being barefoot and happy. Most importantly it is said that every time you walk on the earth in bare feet, you help your Earth Star Chakra to develop and as it does, so the seeds of your divine possibilities also grow. This, is of course very good news!
I give thanks and bow to the Divine Mother Earth for holding us all in her loving embrace and for keeping us ROOTED.
Light and Love