is for foot
I was taking a walk, enjoying the autumn weather and a new sweater, and thinking about what I might write about today in my miscellany abecedarium for the letter F. And of course the word foot came to me as I was kicking my way through a lovely crunchy pile of leaves.
Having learned the Sanskrit word padapa I can never look at a tree anymore without thinking of the definition “the one drinking with its foot.” It always makes me smile with that deep down heart-happy kind of delight. And I somehow imagine trees like being seen that way. It feels a bit like a secret we share – that I know and appreciate this wonderful poetic thing about them.
I was also thinking about a conversation I had with a group of friends today in which we were musing about how we go through our lives very invested in our personal stories, but there comes a point in one’s spiritual growth when it’s time to divest yourself of the personal story so that the cosmic story can have a voice. That what we’re really called to do is let the divine channel through us unimpaired and anchor it here on Earth with every footstep we take.
And that led me to think of the quote by Ron Beathard “The Shakers lived with one foot planted firmly in heaven and the other planted firmly in the fields and sang until the one caught up to the other.” I find delight in that thought as well.
Thinking about Shakers made me think about their impeccable craftsmanship and delight in beautiful functionality. And somehow the thought of Shakers and the overarching topic of feet made me think about my uncle. I only met him once and he died when I was a child, but he was a shoemaker. I don’t really know how he learned the craft, and he had done other things, but I imagine he found something very satisfying about shoemaking because he stayed with it. The one memory I have of the one time he visited was a cake my mother made for him. She cut out all these tiny little silver footprints and had them meandering up and down the cake. He was so delighted.
I have a couple of shoe lasts, the form around which shoes are made, sitting in a window in my studio. It’s impossible to get a good photo but I kind of like this shot anyway.
And just to finish off my own meandering on the subject of feet, here’s a quick recipe for a lovely foot soak. You can use epson salts or sea salts or some combination of both – up to a cup for a foot soak is ideal. You’ll also want 1/8 of a teaspoon of carrier oil (sweet almond oil is lovely) and up to 4 drops of essential oils. It’s good to add the essential oil to the carrier oil and add that blend to the salt and mix it up a bit. That way it helps disperse things more evenly when you add the salt to your warm water. I like sweet orange essential oil, but lavender can be soothing and peppermint can be refreshing. But do use whatever favorite calls to you. Treat your feet to a little love – they’re always on the job.
Now your turn to step forward and toe the line. Feeling footloose and fancy free today? Have a favorite pair of shoes you delight in? Do nice things for your feet? Do tell – you know I love to hear.