Our neighbor, Oddvar, who is a health and herbal guru, claims that walking barefooted is healthy, good for the body, and makes you sleep better. "Grounded", he calls it. And I believe him.
As a little girl in Canada, I did not want to wear shoes. Our neighbors would come to my mother and say: "Heidi's shoes are over there. She must have run off again."
I remember. I took my shoes off and went walkabout around the neighborhood, imagining and exploring. I was 3-4 years old.
I still like being barefooted - or when it's cold I wear socks - sometimes several layers - in the house. And even if I love pretty shoes and have more than one pair, there's nothing like walking barefooted on green summer grass or on luke-warm sand by the seaside.
Feet should be free to develop and breathe.
I am appalled at the Foot binding practice in China. It first started in the 10th century to form women's feet into what they thought were feminine, dainty and refined. Well-born girls from elite, wealthy families had bound feet to exempt them from manual labor. It was a sign of beauty and a requisite for finding a husband. They were raised to serve their husbands and direct the household.
Big footed women worked as servants.
This horrible custom did not die out until the early 20th century when social habits changed and there were many anti-foot binding campaigns.
I am fascinated by how people can believe in such strange - and in my eyes - wrong practices. Surely deforming the body God has blessed us with is not right. I feel sorry for the millions of women who have had bound feet and not been able to run in the grass, dance, and go for pleasant walks.
Our grandbabies have beautiful tiny feet. I am grateful these little wonders can develop at their own pace and enjoy life.
Photo: Sienna's little fat feet.