Whats Up With That? - Katy Byrne


If the shoe fits

I was standing in the shower the other night when I peered down at my feet. They

Have carried me through life and I had never thanked them. They seemed so far away, way down there, I guess I forgot about them.

I apologized: “You’ve been so loyal and I never pay much attention to you. You seem so hard to reach and small.  I’ve taken you for granted.”

I wanted them to know how much I appreciated them. “Hello there, you cute little feet. Thank you so much for holding me up. I don’t mean to look down on you or stick my foot in my mouth but I’m humbled by your support. You have been the ground I walk on. When I was down you helped me get back on my feet. You’ve been the major reason I get around. You’re there for me every day.”

It was a poignant moment. I flashed back on years of jogging steep hills, lugging groceries around, running through airports with baggage. I remembered getting lost in the woods and finding my way out; moving boxes from one house to another.

I regretted the years of wearing high heels. (Though they were fun for pussyfooting around.)

I know that was a balancing act for them. Now my toes are crooked, fallen arches and all, but we got through it. I have only myself to blame — narcissism caused me to do strange things.

If the shoe fits, wear it.

I rubbed my feet, by way of thanks. Then I went shopping to find new shoes for these little helpers. I screeched at the sales clerk, “Sandals are flat this year! What’s up with that? Last year they were sky high. It’s an accident waiting to happen!” I guess retail keeps us on our toes, from flat to highfalutin!” They should walk in our moccasins, then they’d know how it feels to flap around or wobble on stilts.

Anyway, I’m thankful for feet.  They always hold me up. Oh, sure, there have been times I’ve been swept off my feet but I landed again. After all, taking a stand in life is important, even if we have to take a step back first.

I’m having fun here, but also sad knowing there are so many courageous people that live without mobility. I know my brother and an old friend who are without the use of their feet, in wheelchairs or bound to bed rest. I’m humbled by people with handicaps, broken bones; hip replacements and many other problems. I know how many suffer and how brave they are.

Why do I write about feet? I forget to kiss the ground I walk on. Having gratitude in a world full of challenges is important. I also believe that when we feel like we don’t have a leg to stand on, if we do the next step, do the footwork, we can make a difference.

Just recently I ran into a woman while hiking, who said, “I’ve seen your columns.” I asked, “I’m writing about feet, what you think?” I gasped for breath, waiting for rejection. She jumped right on it. She encouraged me, so here it is.

Many of us are trying to get back on our own two feet, bunions, ailments, a troubling economy and all. Some are putting their feet to the fire, standing up for a fair world.

“Faith is in your feet,” said my dear friend Gwendolyn one day when I was full of worry. I complained, “How can I trust in some higher power when life is so scary?” I was surprised by her answer, but it makes sense. We humans are responsible for our world. We have to keep moving forwards.

All we can do is put one foot in front of the other. And, at the end of the day -put our feet up and say “Thank God.”

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