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 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.
And 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 Replies to “We need pain, we need variety”
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.
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!)
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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