Splinters happen. I have had glass slivers, wood, and dirt specks all lodge into some part of my heels, toes, or soles at some point in my barefoot journey. They hurt, usually intermittently, and I usually wish they didn’t occur, but I also realize they are part of the “barefoot experience.” If I am to bare my feet to the world around me, getting an occasional splinter is the price I’m willing to pay. Splinters remind me that I’m not fully in control of the environment around me and that there are times I could be more aware of where and how I step. But even with careful steps, splinters can and still occasionally occur, especially if one lives most of their life sans shoes. Unless you have some underlying medical condition, splinters are generally not dangerous and will work themselves out on their own. And, that is also a good lesson on patience. It might take several days, or even a week or longer, for splinters to finally dislodge. But, I realize that it’s good for me to learn to “let go,” and allow my body to do what it needs to do to take care of itself. As I get older, I am slowly learning to embrace this more
, one splinter at a time.
Now I know some of you might be thinking that I could simply wear shoes and avoid the “splinter issue” altogether, but I would then be shutting myself off from all the wonderful barefoot tactile experiences of which I’ve grown so fond. Soft grass. Warm asphalt on a summer evening. The floor in the frozen food section of the grocery store in the summertime. A dusty hiking path. A bark-strewn trail in a local park. A damp sidewalk after it has just started raining. The cool tile floor in a coffee shop. A gravel parking lot. Each of these barefoot experiences makes me feel grounded and connected and alive. I’m not willing to give up all these wonderful experiences in order to avoid any temporary issues with an errant splinter! With almost everything we do in life, there are risks and benefits. For many of us, the pleasures of barefoot living greatly outweigh the occasional pain of a splinter. And for what it’s worth, splinters help build character, too…the tough days make the other barefoot days even more enjoyable. And ask yourself this…if you never got a splinter in your foot, were you really going barefoot enough? I know what my answer is. I hope to see you out there enjoying life…maybe even barefoot. Try it…you just might find the experience to be as good…or even better…than I described. Shoes off…Smiles on!