This is the sea that is here with me this week. She is salty sweet on my tongue and fierce serene in my breath. I wonder into the particular medicines she gifts those who live with her, and I feel into the gifts of the land that welcomes me home, the place that offers to me most deeply and on the regular. Of the myriad reasons I live in and love the Bay Area, in the top five is that the climate and culture have space for my bare feet. Moving with my feet kissed by earth changes my life.
I remember my birthday 2.5 years ago, whole day flat on the floor, unable to stand, Baba coming with lilac bouquets almost as tall as he, and crawling down next to me & hunkering in. I remember a month later crawling into the Ateshi Ashk initiation ceremony and refusing myriad offers to carry me - from ones easily strong enough to do it - not clear if my refusal to be carried was pride or humility - regardless, my legs wouldn't hold me, nor would they let anyone lift me. I remember how much I loved flying, because being wheeled through the airport were my most comfortable days. I remember oceans of tears with Eva as we made plans to go wheelchair shopping for me.
Something changed for me in that medical supply store. I remember leaving the store, taking of my shoes and walking home with relative enough ease, tho five blocks took over an hour and I was done for the rest of the day. These 2 years later, I walk most of the time with no shoes. I walk slow, as you who walk near me know. People sometimes think I am making a spiritual statement, encouraging them to slow down. That is true too, but I ask for slow not out of judgement but because it is what I need. I need it less than I used to, and this morning as I wandered down to the water as part of our Earth as Lover meditation, I was reminded of what I already know about pace: Right pace as prayer. Done slow enough, everything can be a making love.
These are core concepts I teach on in my Embodied Presence online course (shameless plug here, next round starts in three weeks).
Really what I am remembering on this walk is that I even though my body moves more freely, I need slow as much as I ever did. I feel how much the earth wants to be kissed by my feet. How much my fascia need to feel the soil give for me to feel at home here. My feet love direct conversation with the core of the earth, particularly when I uncover them and let them listen. My body moves with ease now in most directions except straight forward. She is slow, she is undulating, she is sometimes upright, she is always snakelike. She is meeting and met by this magical far away land and the waters here with such delight. But something hasn't let me take off my shoes here. My feet want familiar. They are so ready to be caressed by the warm-ish earth, and even the familiar concrete, of home.