Feet

One April afternoon, we sat on a park bench under an oak tree with squirrels dancing through the branches, and she said, “Look at your feet.”

Curious, I peered down at my chipped, purple toenails peeking out from black strappy sandals.

“Where are they?” she asked. I stared at them, wondering where she was going with this. “Because you are not where they are.” My initial reaction was to recoil, but I was already there, had already done that.

Yesterdays and tomorrows swirled around like clothes flopping around in the dryer. I closed my eyes, tried to restart. Opened them.

Two young boys, probably seven or so, are throwing a Frisbee across the grass, a golden retriever running back and forth between them.

Moms, laughing, sharing inside jokes, are pushing their toddlers in the swings.

The squirrels are now playing hide and seek in another tree, darting through the branches.

The fresh smell of pine and hydrangea. The freshness of right this moment.

While it was fleeting, it restored me just for a few moments, until the dryer of memories started back again. Swirling, Tossing, Throwing, and the squirrels and moms and Frisbee throwing boys, even the Golden Retriever started to fade.

Years have passed since that day, and I still think about my feet and practice. Like today, I pause, look down at my toes (now red).

Oh hey. Where you are, feet? Am I where you are?

 

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