Tiny Tiny Littlest Boot
In March 2020 during the first stay-at-home order, I switched from the hiking trails to our funky, hilly neighborhood in the foothills in Santa Barbara. Every house is different and has its own character and the people around here were delightful to greet. That held my interest, and our dog’s for a time, but we’re back to walking on dirt again and it’s a huge relief. For both of us. The birds, lizards, occasional ground squirrel or coyote, magically appearing deer, the delicious strong smells, sky, mountains, coastline. The tones, textures, and colors of things, the way they crunch and scrapple are good reminders. They both bring me back into my own body, help me to remember myself and they teach me to listen and to see outside my own body. To travel further outside my own edges. To pay close attention. It seems to make us all, all those things I listed one potent, boundless body. I can almost imagine our breathing as one in and out. In and out. Even the things we don’t think of as breathers.
I’ve attached a photo. It’s the tiniest, teeniest boot that has ever been created. I’m sure of it. It may be hard to see the scale in the photo and actually, I’m tempted to mark it up in Photoshop with a bright red scale for comparison but I’m not going to. The grains of dirt and pebbles, the small leaves, the small, dried bits of wild grasses tell at least part of the story of the tiniest boot. The rest of the story can be imagined pretty easily. Tiny person, tiny foot, a micro-mini cowboy hat, the horse and reins. Or maybe it’s a motorcycle and it’s a tough gal or guy’s boot.
It occurs to me that this boot is sending me a message about scale and that feels very important. How things that seem big aren’t necessarily. They may be surprisingly inconsequential like this ever so tiny boot. The anxious, scary thoughts and preoccupation I have such a talent for can shrink without negative consequence. But then, on the other hand, this tiniest boot looms large and has had the ability to pack a huge wallop. So that also shows me how the smallest moments and the things that live inside them are everything. Once again I feel it proven that noticing is what keeps me alive. It saves my butt and it also replenishes my soul. It gifts creative thinking, freedom, and play. I really love this boot and I left it right where I found it.
When I’m on these meditation walks listening and looking, noticing all the things I feel a spaciousness and I can breathe more wholesomely.