Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Keen Whispers

My shoes and I are back from our Louisiana trip. It was my Keen Whispers first time to be out of Fort Smith and out of state. They are the most comfortable pair of shoes I have ever owned and since my hip surgery they are a true godsend. I have a thing about shoes. We become friends. When I have to throw away a pair of shoes because they are worn out, it isn’t easy. I think of all the places we’ve visited and what a support they’ve been. Once I buried a pair of shoes in St. Louis because it seemed more reverent to bury them than to throw them into some unknown dumpster away from home.

Walking is a necessary and important part of one’s health. What kind of shoes you wear while walking makes all the difference in the world. In an article I once read about the spirituality of walking the author said, Never trust a thought that doesn’t come from walking. Perhaps that is a bit of hyperbole but I like it. I have walked my way into stories and poems. I have walked my way into acceptance and forgiveness--into gratitude and inspiration--into understanding and trust. My walks are generally not the super strenuous kind but more of a contemplative stroll. It is almost autumn and I am thinking about the fallen leaves my Keen Whispers and I will crunch through. Perhaps, if we can find the time, we will do a bit of lounging in the hammock in the pine grove. There are times when we take a prayerful walk through our labyrinth. That’s what I call Soul Walking. There are so many ways to pray with your feet.

This morning as I sat under my sycamore tree I prayed about my feet (and my shoes) reflecting on some of the places we’ve journeyed. I even went back to my childhood, remembering how difficult it was for mom and dad to buy us shoes at all. I prayed about the people today who would love to have the pair of shoes I buried in St. Louis because they need them, worn soles and all. And I prayed about your feet too, whoever you are—reading this blog: I hope you will always have someone in your life to massage your feet. I hope that the places your shoes carry you will be filled with adventure and inspiration. May you have happy feet.

In a few days my Keen Whispers and I will travel to Little Rock for a Eucharist and conference, celebrating the jubilees of the Sisters in our diocese. Their next trip will be to California. We get around.

Become a disciple of joy! Massage someone’s feet this week. Choose someone weary who needs a bit of encouragement.


  1. Hi Macrina, Just walked in the door from a gorgeous walk amongst the fall leaves here. Autumn is in full swing here and before long we will be at that poignant moment where the last leaf has fallen. But for now we have gorgeous blue skies and blazing golden leaves. I agree with you about thoughts that come to us on our walks, but have to add that some of my biggest "ahas" have come while driving in the car. I have read about this idea of "soft looking" where our minds are somewhat alert and somewhat at rest all at the same time. That is what is happening when driving is not overly demanding or we are out on our daily walk. Somewhere in there a space opens up that Spirit can pop right in to. So, I trust my thoughts that come from driving as well!

  2. Keep on walking....what a beautiful path you create for self and others! I share this little poem from last autumn:
    I move carefully
    through the leaf-covered path
    Not sure of what lies beneath
    or even if there is a path at all.
    Why must I walk on an already,
    hewn and constructed way?
    Will not the pacing of
    my own journey
    Create the path meant for me?

  3. It is always when I am walking that I feel so close to mindful living. I feel so in the moment, so alive, so close to the Divine. It is also the time when God speaks and my ears and heart are the most open. I consider walking to be my mystical practice--the time when the veil between heaven and earth disappears.

    I appreciate your thoughts about shoes. It is funny how small objects in our lives have this way of pointing us to the sacred. Shoes definately help us on our physical and spiritual journeys.

    Thanks for your post.

  4. Thanks for the wonderful insights into the significance of the "ordinary". Good comfortable shoes are a must!
    (Foot massages too!)