Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...

08/05/2017

The barefoot gardener

I grew up in Africa, where shoes were an optional extra. Mine sat in the cupboard or under the bed or (probably the majority of the time) in the middle of my bedroom floor. Kicked off as soon as got home from school, I would abandon them, change out of my uniform and escape outside.

As children we would free range, sometimes with shoes but mostly, we were happily dust red and barefooted.  Even as a teenager, shoes were added only if we were 'going out' or to school/college/shopping.

I can remember when I was about 11 or 12, hesitating just on the threshold of a thorny bushy strip between where I was standing and the dusty track behind the house where my friends were standing waiting for me.  Although a hardened barefoot 'explorer', I felt this bit of wilderness, this bit of 'bundu' was just a little too spikey, a little too thorny and I wondered if there was a bush-path or connecting track. Pricked by the comments by my less than impressed peers at my cowardice I was about to turn back and give up when an African man who'd been walking up the same path stopped and said to me ..... 'Just run, run like there is nothing there'.

Image result for african devil thornsSo I did.

And at the other side as I pulled out a number of devil thorns from my foot, it was with a feeling of elation. I'd not felt them as I'd run, nor did I feel them as I removed them from my heel, it was only later, in the evening that my foot felt bruised. However, my ego was not! (picture source)

Coming to England was more than a culture shock. It was a hard lesson in shoe wearing.

I did try and bare-foot it the first year when ever I could, but eventually the cold and hard ground, the cold beach sands, the rather disapproving looks forced me to don shoes. It felt rather repressive (and unfortunately necessary as winter approached!)

Over the years, during summer holidays and warmer weekends at home, I have resorted to being as barefoot as possible when outside. This weekend I managed to garden entirely-ish with naked feet and it felt brilliant.
The grass had been gently warmed by the sun but still damp from the morning dew and the ground beneath I could feel was still cold and asleep.  I love the feeling of grass between my toes, I love the direct contact of soil against my feet, I feel as if I am connecting with the earth.

As the day progressed, standing on the hot paving slabs was positively delicious, the cats agreed and lounged around like baking lizards.

Eldest repotted most of his house plants - he has a very 'male' taste in plants, venus fly traps, cactus, succulents, palms and ferns. His bedroom at one time had about 15 pots but now each Sunday when he returns to uni, a box of greenery leaves with him. He won't be able to move in his uni room soon!
Youngest was snowed under by coursework so disappeared to his desk and papers, we did managed to drag him out for his dose of sunshine D with the promise of lunch on the lawn and mug of tea and cake in the afternoon.

Moss on the other hand preferred the cooler slabs in the greenhouse (we've got covers on the sun-side of the greenhouse as it get extremely hot and arid in there!) She is gently settling in to the art of gardening-by-pets (sleeping in the sun/shade/grass/greenhouse) and can be often found with a happy smile on her face as long as the big scary tools are moved calmly and quietly and in the opposite direction.  Anyway a sneaky dog biscuit can often soothe any tension should hammering or sawing occur.
This weekend was quiet, slipping through our days gently. 
Nothing happened, lots happened. 
Swallows and swifts held screaming parties in the air.
Gardening, breathing, living.
Just how I like it.


And you?
Do you yearn to walk barefoot?
Did you garden over the weekend?
Was your weekend a gentle healing restful one?

I love to know what you get up to :)

Thank you for your lovely comments and welcome to my new followers - glad to see you here in my little corner of the world.

10 comments:

  1. What a lovely post. Yes I prefer barefoot but it is often too cold up here. I love pottering too. It is rarely so hot as you have had.

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  2. Yes the lure of being bare footed in the garden is a great one for me! x

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  3. I smiled when I read this. We have just come back after seven years in New Zealand, where the majority of children, and some adults, go barefoot. Even to school. I must be honest I didn't see the appeal at all but my daughter loved it! They even did school cross country barefoot, dodging the cow pats �� Xx

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  4. I too like barefoot on my own lawn (minus the bindi as they hurt), or on a lovely warm sandy beach when it squidges through your toes or squeaks when you slide on it. The greenhouse looks inviting for me, as it's been cold, damp & windy here of late. Moss seems very happy on the paving. Have a good week & take care.

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  5. No bare feet here....it's all sharp stones in our garden now!
    Arilx

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  6. Sorry do not share your love of barefoot, a step too far for me. Moss is gorgeous and your cat too, seems as if they tolerate each other well. I hope your week continues to be as good as the weekend.

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  7. Yes I too miss walking barefooted but can't in our garden as it is mostly pots on tar and not comfy to walk on. But when we are on holiday I take my shoes off on the beach. Not for walking but when we sit down for our picnic lunches. I love pushing my feet into the soft sand. That picture of devil thorns brings back memories but mostly of removing them from our dogs who would stand with the sore foot in the air until we removed the offending thorn. Ouch. Yes did lots of gardening over the weekend in the lovely sunshine but where has the sun gone today?

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  8. What a happy time for you. BTW, did you know Saturday was "Garden Naked Day"? Barefoot counts, I'm sure. As a young child in the Tennessee south, barefoot came May 1st and shoes were only worn when necessary. By September, my feet were hard as nails and I hated having to put shoes on to go to school. Now, sadly, RA has started affected my feet, particularly my toes, so no more outside barefooting. And very little in the house. I miss the feel of cool grass under my feet.

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  9. I love warm sand underfoot but it's not something I get to feel very often! I liked the idea of going barefooted after reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn but it didn't last long, not with the sort of terrain we played on!

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  10. I have never been one to go barefoot anywhere, apart from in the shower! At all other times it is socks, socks, socks, socks! I still can't believe you felt no pain when you ran through the thorny things and just soreness later on.

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Thank you ever so much for stopping by today - I'm really glad that you did. If you would like to leave me a comment then I would be delighted to hear from you,

Hawthorn x
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