A poem – The Wisdom of Bare Feet – Written by Sue Kenney

Posted April 30, 2012 | by Sue Kenney | in Barefoot | 2 responses The Wisdom of Bare Feet By Sue Kenney         Oh great feet of mine that I have hidden from sensory wisdom while bound in leather and rubber soles Today I freely enter the forest of this planet again with the fervour of passion to live as one Touching the ground in bare feet to gather healing wisdom from the ancient mud And guidance from Mother Earth so my feet can remember the peaceful way of my ancestor’s path With ease I walk as my sentient soles scurry along shifting with the natural grade of the land Lifting my foot up momentarily I drop it down and wait, in organic time, for something to happen The condensation hovering around the embryo-like fiddle head that is covered in a white furry sac Signals a familiar dampness rising in the morning air and without conscious thought I avoid stepping on it My foot darts sideways onto the wetness of brown pine needles pressed down like a carpet From the weight of the heavy snow they act as a soft cushion that takes on the full weight of my body My toes wiggle in delight at the cool touch of the ground and I am momentarily connected New senses in my feet absorb a calculated mildly damp scent and I relax my arches Ever so lightly lifting my foot up and again dropping it down I humbly touch Her, skin to skin The awareness of sharp rocks I see jutting out from the ground ahead bluntly ceases my surrendered state Each muscle in my foot tenses faced with the imminent fear of jagged rock underfoot In the living spirit of this pre-Cambrian shield a mystical vapour that is only visible to my feet Appears as a sensation of heat from the moss covered rock that slowly rises lingering in the space between the trees It converts a sense of what my ego tells me is dangerous to a welcoming, serene and inviting place for my soul Trusting my intuition I move gracefully, in perfect balance, and this momentarily cradles my fearful thoughts A simple physical movement of transference occurs and I wrap my barefoot over the razor sharp edge Curling my feet around its jaggedness with fluidity and with ease spreading my body’s weight in precision A weightless hovering sensation suspended in breath and calmness overcomes me I’m profoundly aware that the soles of my feet have opened their innate senses to feel, hear, smell, taste, and see Feeling the still air of the open water nearby that is paused in the midst of deadheads erect The east wind blows and in honour of this great lesson I ground myself holding space for loving kindness in the world Even as it presses into the shore of my human capacity resisted by the ancient granite formed Over a lifetime of being disconnected with the Great Mother The old leaves on the forest floor crinkle with joy at my attention to trusting the senses of my bare feet I stand in utter stillness and awe of this most gracious gift bestowed upon me The pulse of a light breeze taps my feet confirming that this reception of wisdom is complete Unable to restrain my joy and gratitude I begin to run through the forest like a Gazelle Ecstatically releasing the innocence of my inner child with each step forward   Rhythmically moving over the ground on tip toe I dance on the belly of the Mother In time with her heartbeat and the cadence of universal love in consciousness Embracing the continuous vibration of healing wisdom and guidance offered freely In return for the simple act of being barefoot in the forest


  1. This is an incredibly perceptive poem, Sue. Bare feet can be incredible instruments of observation just as the hands, eyes, ears, tongue and nose can be. But of course we have to let them live outside of shoes so they can do what they were designed to do. You captured that beautifully in this poem.

    • Sue Kenney Sue Kenney says:

      Thank you Darren for acknowledging this work with your complimentary words…from the bottom of my feet!
      Our feet have almost as many sensory nerves as our spine and we know from reflexology that they connect to every part of our body. What I didn’t know, until I started walking barefoot in the forest, we need to signal to our brain, via our barefeet, things like the terrain and weather so it can accomodate our balance, body temperature, surivival state, how hard we press down when we walk and so much more. For several months my brain was weary after a walk because I was inputting all this new/old data, that was immediately used. What a gift it has been to be outside my shoes.

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