We need pain, we need variety

You go bare­foot. There are rocky, muddy, sandy and grassy sec­tions. A nature pre­serve in Bel­gium allows you to expe­ri­ence a wide vari­ety of tex­tures as you explore foot­paths in the slightly hilly park. As their web­site (http://www NULL.liete­berg NULL.be/blotevoetenpad/blotevoetenpad NULL.htm) says, you can feel the extremes of “hot and cold, moist and dry, pleas­ant, excit­ing and stimulating.”

In west­ern life, our feet are not used to feel­ing much beyond the insides of our socks, the floor, grassy lawns or sandy beaches. The Liete­berg Park allowed my vul­ner­a­ble feet to expe­ri­ence some­thing dif­fer­ent. The pain of rocky sec­tions made me appre­ci­ate the squishy mud.

bath-matAnd as I recently bought a bath­tub mat to pre­vent slips and falls, I expe­ri­enced tiny bits of pain from the soft bot­toms of my feet. The mat’s spiky plas­tic tines poked into my soles. At first, I thought of tak­ing the mat back. Then I real­ized it made my feet feel alive.

Life is like that. If we live a life of ease with no pain, we can­not truly under­stand plea­sure. And vari­ety keeps life inter­est­ing. You know this. I’m just remind­ing you — and me — that pain is OK. I also hope your life has vari­ety and some respite from pain.

3 thoughts on “We need pain, we need variety”

  1. This story reminds me of the pop­u­lar flip-flops in Papua New Guinea. They have very “pokey” but the rea­son is to help you grip when you’re going up and down muddy hillsides.

    I was amazed to dis­cover that you can actu­ally climb some crazy places in just flip-flops. I began to pre­fer them to hik­ing boots.

    1. Love it, Johanna!

      I remem­ber Kenyans hik­ing unimag­in­able places in dress shoes. We Amer­i­cans get so over-specialized and exces­sive... hav­ing shoes for every pos­si­ble activ­ity. (How­ever, I am glad that I don’t have to hike in dress shoes — or flip-flops!)

  2. I haven’t read you here in awhile. I had an absolute crap day and I thank you for shar­ing your writ­ing with me, and every­one. This is sooth­ing and kind. Lots of love, friend.

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