I have been choosing not to walk the labyrinth barefoot because it’s been wet and muddy and cold. It was still a little cold this afternoon, but I had been walking around the house barefoot and then decided to walk the labyrinth and didn’t feel like finding my shoes.
So, I am reminded that the asphalt driveway alongside the house, past the shed is very rough, and my tender feet were hollering loudly about uncomfortable sensations. As I put my attention on those sensations, they shifted from “uncomfortable” to “prickly, icy-hot, buzzy.” And the contrast of walking on the asphalt to walking on the soft earth with twigs and crispy oak leaves was lovely. I imagine that if I’d taken my shoes off at the labyrinth, I might have thought that the oak leaves were hard and prickly, and in fact they are, but because I’d had the contrast of the asphalt, the sensations were distinct, rather than generic “ow!” And I’ve been noticing that distinct sensations are just that. They become information when I put my attention on them, rather than “something to avoid.”
Walking the labyrinth, I once again get to enjoy the contrast of the very chilly earth and the warmed earth because it’s underneath trees, and it’s mostly shaded, so I get only small patches of warmth, but those patches are glorious! And the chilly earth has such a lovely, slightly squishy feel to it that I enjoy those sensations as well.