“Who’s Barefoot Now…?” written by Linda Willows…..Just Sweet Memories


from Linda, Just Sweet Memories

When I was a child growing up in the Deep South, my sister and me, who were always fitted with the most awful black lace-up “Stride-Right” shoes during the School Year, would liberate ourselves during the long hot Summer. Barefoot Bonanza! We joyously freed anything that hindered our adventures or threatened restriction. Barefoot, all the world is barefoot in the long hot summer!

Most of our friends on the block were allowed to wear “flip-flops” but our mother insisted that they were bad for our feet. Since we, like everyone our age, held them in very high esteem, we took to drawing pictures of flip-flops and pretended that they were ours. My sister and I had a lot of imagination and I loved drawing. I had already developed the amusement of making drawings of “life” as I wished it would be! It was fun.

Barefoot was the best indoor outdoor choice, even if I did change my outfits two or three times a day; no worries about matching footwear. I had an impulse that I needed to change something but could not quite understand what. OK, I was vain. My father thought that I was wonderful and made no secret of it.

I remember the cool moist feel of the thin grass in the front yard and the feeling of the bark as I climbed up my favorite tree; the breeze as it floated through my toes which I later learned to dance on. Good strong feet from a healthy shoe!

Both my sister and I had our quirks. She obsessed about flip-flops and eventually designed a pair for each of us made out of cardboard and string. We proudly wore them around the neighborhood. What could my mother say, she didn’t want to stifle creativity. Later, I would be stuffing those same feet into two sizes smaller Pointe Shoes with practice every day for the rest of my time. I did become the ballet dancer in the pictures.

And I, always trying to design everything, wasn’t satisfied with the grass in front of our home so I got a pair of scissors and cut the front lawn by hand, blade by blade. It was a magnificent achievement. I have no idea what the neighbors thought. I sensed that good thick grass was one of life’s important things and if you had it you get many points. (no pun intended) If it was thick and mowed I developed an admiration beyond my years. I had an eye for “edging and trimming things too” but no available instruments at that age.

I continued the practice of drawing scenes of how I would like myself or life to be. It was always pleasurable to live inside these pictures of mine. I could be anything I desired. Imagine, I became a great ballet dancer, had long, long hair was thin and perfect, (!) had lots of friends and a beautiful room with central air conditioning (no one had that in New Orleans in those days!) and a pool of course. Oh, it was a great life there in my sketchbook!

Note: I made a sketch of what my husband would look like many years before, (later when I was in my late teens) and it did look quite similar. None of the others were true – just fancy and fun. And the husband, well…it didn’t turn out. I wish that I had been able to see beyond appearances and my dreams. I did love him very much though. Some years ago the paper portrait was shredded.

However, I still am barefoot. And I love flip-flops. As soon as the weather permits, I transfer to one of about a half a dozen pairs and no one can pry me from them. I don’t live in the south anymore, I have been in so many places exploring, dancing and imagining with my bare-footedness and my heart.

Exception: when I lived overseas. In certain cultures, you may not show your toes or feet, especially on the bottom! I thought that was fair. I wore  “school shoes” to blend. One good lesson about baring your feet is to be aware of your surroundings. If you are going to bare your sole or your Soul, please try to be sweet!

©2012 Linda Willows

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The Kreativ Blogger Award, anon!

The Kreativ Blogger Award

I feel honored to have been nominated for the Kreativ Blogger Award by Follow the Wind. I have learned that you can receive an award more than once so I accept this joyfully.  I must mention that Follow the Wind is a fascinating young woman, independent thinker with deep wisdom, beauty and inspiration. She will be a remarkable woman to follow.

It makes me smile deeply and have the delight of selecting bloggers to award with this same honor. In addition the Award asks that we  share 10 (useless) facts about ourselves. I can do that!

Here we go…

10 Useless Facts about Me,

  1. I love animals, used to enjoy horseback riding and have a cat that I “talk” to. Yes, of course he answers.
  2. That’s right, I turned 60 this past year! Feels great.
  3. I once lived in a storybook barn above three happy horses that I helped to take care of.
  4. I have a very highly developed sense of smell.
  5. When I was 12 I was a “Snowflake” with the Leningrad Kirov Ballet in its production of, hmm was it “Sleeping Beauty” at the Old Met.
  6. No, I did not melt under pressure. All the American children rummaged through the Kirov Stars foreign-made used Toe Shoes.
  7. I wrote a book about my life story at 35, thinking I had really lived. It was refused.  The publisher was so right. He said, “come back when you have Really Lived Your Life!”.
  8. Later in life, I was taught a few essentials by a former member of the military special forces before going into Bosnia during the Balkan War.
  9. Before that I had a friend in “Society” who demonstrated the images of class, manner, dress, excess and how to get in and out of a limousine but I understand that times have changed and it seems alright to “dive” these days. I am not going to dive. Not even into a car. Or a Military tank. I will lower myself or enter and swirl. Enter and Swirl!
  10. I enjoy a very simple life, and choose happiness with what is before me. I have very few possessions. I am free.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for.

I nominate these blogs for the Kreativ Blog Award. They have earned this prize for general excellence; for creativity and because they are memorable. I honor their contribution!

The Awards go to:

MoonLightened Way

Bliss in Images

LScott Poetry

Life has a Crush on You

Rokssana

Photo Nature Blog

AJ Poetry

I encourage you to visit each of these special sites, if you know them- go back! The latest is very special.

Linda