Fieldset
Footprints

"Everywhere I walk, soft and light, are footprints.impressions of people, of human beings, in all shapes and sizes, left behind for me or anyone else who cares to notice them."

Footprints. The ground here is all soft, red dirt, fine as sand. It reminds me of Prince Edward Island actually. I walk with my eyes on the ground because it is uneven and there are many obstacles, especially after I sprained my ankle on Sunday. And everywhere I walk, soft and light, are footprints.impressions of people, of human beings, in all shapes and sizes, left behind for me or anyone else who cares to notice them. I think they are beautiful and I cannot bring myself to think otherwise, despite the fact

that they are there because there are no shoes on the feet of the men and women and children who leave them behind. I worry that I am becoming apathetic to the poverty and the despair that surrounds me, but it is not that I don't see it or that I do not care, it is that what I do see is the beauty in the people, in this place, and any other feeling I have feels like a judgment, like I know better, and I am not convinced that I do. I think to myself, why do people need shoes? I remember when I was small I hated to have shoes on my feet. I can remember the feeling of hot asphalt in the summer time burning the soles of my feet and running towards cool grass or a puddle to dip them into. It is a visceral memory, one that speaks of a connection to the ground beneath me, to all the things that live above and below it, the life that exists beneath my feet, and my unwillingness to accept any separation from that life. I don't want to offend. I know that I have the luxury to contemplate this because I have shoes on my feet. But I wonder if it would be different, my perception of the world, if I did not have this separation between my soles and the life that exists beneath me. There is a kind of meditation, a walking meditation where you walk, with one foot in front of the other and you focus on the feeling of your feet connecting with the ground. It is a practice that helps you to learn presence, to live in the moment and not focus on the past or the future, just to be. Perhaps that is the beauty that I see everywhere, a "now-ness," an acceptance that all we really have is right now, this moment, to live fully to the best of our ability, to learn as much as we can from this life while we are still breathing and we still have the chance to love each other a little bit more.