A poem from SBL member Tim Mills.
(Tim now has his own blog at Nature’s Child.)
Lost Spirit of the Barefooter
Close your eyes and think back to your childhood..
Do you remember the lazy barefoot days of summer?
A world of freedom and wonder. Nature was still a
magical world, as you caught frogs at the pond,
or chased fireflies in the night. Remember
the squishy feel of mud between your toes,
or the chilly blanket of dew on the grass in the morning?
Times of joy and laughter. Splashing your feet
in the puddles on rainy days. You could dig your feet
into the sand at the playground, and feel it
between your toes. The world was an innocent and warm,
welcoming place. You could climb any tree you could reach,
or just lie on your back watching clouds and finding
the funny shapes they had. The troubles of the world
seemed so far away.
Going barefoot was just plain fun. You didn’t imagine
a million things out to hurt you. If you lived near woods,
that was you private place to play. Just walking was a
magical experience, as your feet encountered things
like moss, fallen leaves, grass and whatever else was there.
A little dirt was no big deal, it would come off in the bath.
You didn’t need a fishing license, just a rod
and some worms you dug out of your back yard.
You sat at the water’s edge with your friends,
laughing and telling stories while you waited for a bite,
swishing your toes in the water. If it was hot,
you might even jump in and go for a swim.
Deep in the spirit of the barefooter, is the place
where these memories live. Barefoot living
isn’t about politics, or big ideas. It’s about
the simple things in life. When you are barefoot,
you experience life at its fullest. Freedom is a
longing of all people, and going barefoot embodies
freedom and innocences at their best. Yet today,
our children are seeing this slip away. Lost to money,
to fear, to the ideas of a dangerous world, waiting
to devour them. What are we leaving for them?
Will they ever know childhood as it was meant to be?
Are the images of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn
to be forever lost in the pages of history?
Maybe, just maybe, there is a way back! Let childhood be more
than just a group of years everyone lives through.
Rekindle the magic and the wonder that built
those special memories all those years ago.
Leave the shoes and sock home. Go barefoot!
Let your children or grandchildren run free again,
with the grass tickling their toes. Rediscover the magic
of the lost spirit of the barefooter. Be free again!
I think you will find your life with be richer
for the experience.
We in the SBL know; that’s why we are barefooters. That
is what this is really all about, a chance to be free
and live life to its fullest!