In the northern hemisphere, autumn waits in the wings. I’m a big fan of markers that have been tracked by humans for millennia. They connect to something enduring about the human experience. Throughout time, fascination with the sun’s trajectory has connected us. The elegant way our year seasonally divvies up is a communal observation. Right now, all our sensitive bones feel the progressive dim of morning, the glow slip-sliding away so quickly after dinner.
September 23, the fall equinox, marks the actual tipping point, perfect balance between light and dark. When sunrise to sunset is exactly half-way from riding June long and high in the sky to December’s low and much abbreviated trek. This is a time of transition from yang active, sun-filled summer days to the yin moon of winter hibernation. I’m grateful for these three months of letting go. I take instruction from the shedding trees.
Equinox, equanimity, equilibrium…a season that, by it’s very nature, demonstrates balance. Something to feel seated right here, rocking right to feel the heaviness and then rocking left. If you’re like most, the two sides feel a bit different. Totally normal. But we can all find the middle. Equinox, equanimity, equilibrium…that place of balance.
Balance was the topic this week when I went to buy some new walking shoes. Who else remembers when Sally Edwards opened the first Fleet Feet in that well-worn Victorian house on J Street in Sacramento in 1976? I was an early customer, so happy that someone was interested in foot health. Hoo boy, they’ve gone all high tech lately. Not only do you need an appointment to buy shoes, you receive this whole techno-evaluation of your feet.
This graphic shows what I already know. I bear more weight on my right foot. See above about totally normal. I did love that Shoe Guy was impressed with my low level of asymmetry. Testament to yoga practice, I suppose. But here’s the interesting part. I told him I want shoes with the LEAST support. He looked askance. I want shoes that allow me to feel the ground under my foot. He asked why. I want shoes that invite my feet to be fluid and strong while offering the least protection possible from harsh pavement or detritus underfoot.
I looked around at walls covered with heavy duty footwear. The first three pair he offered were like vise grips with two inch plastic soles. He saw my dismay as well as the old pair I had dutifully brought with me and went deep in the back to find this “trail runner”. Yes! Love my new shoes.
Shoe Guy is entering medical school this year. He asked some good questions and most of what I said was antithetical to his Fleet Feet orientation. The bulk on display is absolutely perfect for customers with foot pain. People who need support to make it through their weight-bearing day. But if we have healthy feet and we cloak them in massive support, our feet become weak and inflexible. I do not like to see us going down this rabbit hole. Take notice!
If we have foot pain, proper support is important. And it is often possible to do a bit of self care to re-gain our birth right of fluid strong feet. Slowly move to less and less shoe support. Put foot pain behind us. After all, there are barefoot Kenyans who run across the savannah for miles on normal balanced human feet. I love feet. If you love yours and any of this touches you I’m physical therapy right here. I still get this inquiry: no, I’m not retired. I see one or two patients a day and absolutely love my work.
Equinox, equanimity, equilibrium…a season that, by it’s very nature, demonstrates balance. I’ve been repeating this mantra often the last couple weeks, aspiring to this level of equanimity:
I have no complaints whatsoever.
And that is all for today….❤️Bella