Blog: Mother Earth Heals
by Liora Leah

Barefoot Story

In my last blog, I wrote about meeting Mick and Sam, the barefoot couple from the Olympic Mountains of Washington State. The following is a story of my first experience of walking barefoot on Mother Earth.

Date:   5/29/2005 5:22:17 PM   ( 16 y ) ... viewed 6710 times

In February, two days after meeting Mick and Sam, I took a walk at the local Nature Center. Deciding to go barefoot, I found that the trails were muddy and slick; it took a lot of effort to not slip and fall. I had to be aware of the terrain, and tried to avoid stepping on twigs that I found painful to my tender feet, or step in any coyote "offerings". As I walked along, paying close attention to the trail in front of me, I suddenly felt "short" ( I'm 5' 1', already short as it is, thank you very much)--there's no other way to describe it. I've often felt "short"--maybe "compressed" is a better word--when walking along this trail, but this time I felt unusually "short", as though my legs were drawn down into the Earth. My vision telescoped down so that I felt like my eyes were only two feet from the ground. I remembered what Mick had said about observing a friend's child learn how to walk, and thought that this must be what the world looks like to such a child. I also remembered him say that the child walked on the balls of his feet; I tried this, and found that as my toes naturally splayed apart and dug into the mud, my balance was better and the going was easier.

My eyes having focused on the trail ahead of me, I noticed a butterfly on the ground. It was frantically beating its wings, but didn't rise up and I thought maybe it was stuck on something and couldn't lift off. I took a step closer and saw that it was "stuck" on another butterfly--oh, mating! I thought, and watched, fascinated, as I've never seen this before. A couple walked down the trail coming towards me, startling the lovers; with a beat of his wings, the butterfly launched into the air, taking his still attached lover with him. Ah, I thought, if only humans could do that!

Going down the trail, still feeling barely over two feet tall, I noticed a grasshopper in the middle of the dirt path, almost camouflaged with its brown color. Bending over it, I saw that it was missing one of its hind jumping legs. Concerned that it might get stepped on by a less observant hiker, I intended to move it to the side of the trail. Not wanting to startle or hurt it, I thought to scoop it up with a leaf rather than pick it up with my hand. No sooner did I have a large leaf in hand than the grasshopper took a mighty leap sideways into the air, a good site better than two feet as it was over my foreshortened vision, landing in the underbrush on the side of the trail. I wondered that such a small creature, with only one leg, had so much power in it as to make such a jump. There's a lesson in that for me, I knew.

I came to a fork in the trail, and took the branch that was obscured by overgrown
shrubs since it leads to the bench that I like to sit and meditate upon. The bench sat among bushes that were flowering early, as we've had a lot of rain (for Southern California) followed by sun. The bees were swarming around the flowers, the butterflies were fluttering, the birds were singing, and one very large, shiny black bumblebee was buzzing. I stood still and waited for the bumblebee to fly off; it didn't, and instead settled itself down upon the backrest of the bench. I watched it for awhile, and as it didn't move, I spoke to it and asked it if we could share the bench. Taking its silence as an affirmation, I sat on the bench, about one and one-half feet away from it, and watched it. The bumble sat in stillness and silence, and if it was looking at me, I couldn't tell. I diverted my attention away from the bumble and watched the butterflies instead. The bumble buzzed off.

Usually I don't bother to check the time when I am walking at the Nature Center, but that day I had a late start and wanted to be sure I didn't stay so long as to be late picking up my children from school. I looked at my time piece (my cell phone with the ringer and vibrator turned off), and saw that it was 12:40 P.M. I thought to myself, I have time to meditate for about 15 minutes or so, and still have time to walk the rest of the trail and get to my children's school. In circumstances where time is short and I am going into a meditation where I lose all sense of time, I usually set my cell phone alarm clock. This day I didn't want to bring the alarm's harshness into the peaceful setting I found myself in. I said out loud to Gaia, "Mother, please let me know when it's time to leave so I'll be able to get down the trail to my car and pick up my kids on time."

With deep breathing, I went easily into a meditative state. I was enjoying the "Light show" I always see before my closed eyes, and feeling very peaceful and relaxed, when I startled at the sound of my friend the bumblebee buzzing once around my head. I kept my eyes closed and tried to return to my relaxed state; the bumble buzzed around my head twice more, and I opened my eyes after its third fly-by, just in time to see it fly off. I glanced at my time piece; it read 12:55 P.M., exactly 15 minutes from when I first looked at it. Amazed, I thanked the Mother and the bumble for being such an excellent natural "alarm", and headed on down the trail.


Liora Leah


Barefoot Mick and Sunshine Sam do not have a website. Please contact them via e-mail at:

See my other blogs on Mick and Sam, barefoot walking, and reconnecting to Mother Earth through the soles of our feet:

"Warrior Woman of the Shield" 
"Barefoot Practice"

"Barefoot Walking: The Four Disciplines"
"Wildman Barefoot Buddha"
"Deer Animal Totem":
"Walking Like a Deer"
"Earth Shoes"
"Barefoot Walkin' Blues"
"Earth Heals Pain"
"Re-connecting with Earth"

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