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A sweltering weekend with bright blue sky and just a hint of haze. No plans other than to stay at home and just relax.  But have you met me?  My version of relaxing may be slightly different that many people.  Relaxing isn’t about sitting indoors on a beautiful summer day to watch television or to sleep.  It isn’t about doing nothing and clearing my mind.  It is about finding something that wants or needs to be done and immersing myself in it.  This relaxing weekend led to the Tale of Dirty Feet.

The mulch bed in front of our house was begging for a make-over.  Scraggly shrubs left much to be desired.  Large root balls were left hidden underground where once beautiful trees graced the front of the house.  And my pots full of herbs were starting to overflow.

And so the adventure began.  And the shoes came off.  Maybe gardening and bare feet aren’t the perfect combination, but it worked.  And better yet, when my family caught wind of me playing out in the yard by myself, digging and moving and shoveling and planting, they darted outdoors with me and it became a family event.

Large root balls were excavated (yes, we put our shoes on for this part, but they came off when we were done), miscellaneous plants were removed, weeds were pulled and the earth was overturned.  Then the planting began.  There was no better place than the front yard for an herb garden, a small one, but the start.  As our hands helped crumble the red clay soil, our feet could feel every indentation of the below.  We added fresh dirt to make the softer and hopefully a friendlier living environment.  Our toes wiggled in the fresh soil and we planted sage, oregano, basil and mint.

Time for the watering; and with two small children, became a slip-n-slide water park. Dirty water was flying everywhere, we sprayed each other and every once and a while, a plant.  My children pulled out umbrellas to prevent themselves from getting too wet, though they screamed with laughter as they became soaked from head to foot.  Our bare feet running though the grass and back through the mulch bed.  Going from clean to dirty in a mere blink of an eye.

As the day wore on, the shoes never did make it back onto our feet.  We took a family walk, barefoot.  We were earthing: the action of walking on grass in bare feet; soaking up the earths energy through your soles.

It felt amazing, we felt connected, dirty feet and all.

Property of Rebecca Baybayan

Property of Rebecca Baybayan