This is a really huge deal.
Living in the wilds in Northern California we had no shortage of land-space, tangled and native and ungroomed as it were. With this, apparently, comes gobs and gobs of spiders. There is a chapter from Annie Dillard in Pilgrim wherein she muses on the numerical breakdown of living organisms in a single square foot of earth below her toes. I often wryly contemplated this as I stood [still a bit uncomfortably] on a safe thickness of shoe sole and noted the sheer number and variety of the arachnids scurrying about on whatever business a spider happens to have on a Wednesday afternoon at three p.m. I tell you what, it's not boot shopping. Which is what I'd be doing if I had eight feet to shod. And a fresh hole in my favorite pair (promise, this is the last of my boot woes you'll hear about).
Now, here at home in Seattle the turf is a dry, autumnal blend of grasses and deep spongy moss. I never want to wear shoes again.
~ SIDE NOTE ~
Has any one else dressed for work on a late summer day, gathered their lunch and water, popped in the car, drove across town and JUST before stepping out onto the molten pavement realized YOU HAD FORGOTTEN TO WEAR SHOES? This has happened to me. Twice.
~ Back to the real thoughts ~
I took the dogs for their run this afternoon, and upon arriving home, couldn't help but lay myself out on that thick pad of greenery below the apple tree. I thought about that square foot, and I was so flipping proud of Nature. That the earth, even here surrounded by children in double strollers wielding soggy crackers , construction workers in dirty white shirts, herds of teenagers looking mall-ishly rasta, and even my own mailman Pat*, even here is thick with life. The land is RICH. It nearly vibrates with the thunder of my footsteps and the sweet fermentation of rotting apples. I know if I but dug my fingers into the soil I would find a host of beating, climbing, crunching, rolling little beings. And while they may be no beauties, just knowing they are there brings a comfort.
It's not enough for me to see pictures of trees, or even to paint them. It's not enough to say "yes, nature is over there, I'm sure of it." I need it to stain my skin, tangle my hair, co-mingle in my pores, because my own nature is too wild for anything else.
I suppose this is my mission and my wish for this next chapter; to be a little unruly, to flick my tail at the neighbors, to wear lichen and stretch my wings ever wider.