A Barefoot Girl With Shoes On

I stepped on a bee the other day.

I suppose it was only a matter of time, really, because I rarely wear shoes when I’m at home. Inside or outside, rain or shine, summer or winter, I’m usually barefoot.

On Sunday afternoon I was outside, barefoot as usual, walking down the side of the yard checking out the gardens when it happened. At first I thought I must have stepped on a sharp stone or something like that, but it didn’t take long to realize that I had been stung by, what I’m now assuming, was a bee. I’ve noticed a lot of bees in the yard this year–they’ve been especially fond of the borage blossoms in the garden. Bees + gardens = a good thing. I couldn’t be too upset by being stung now, could I?

Over the course of the past few days my foot has gone from sore to swollen to itchy and is just now starting to get back to normal. It hasn’t been pleasant, the aftermath of the sting, but it’s not the end of the world. I’m fifty-three years old and this is only the second time I’ve been stung–and the first time as a result of stepping on the bee. Not a bad run for a barefoot girl like me.

Now I suppose I could think about being more sensible and wearing shoes or sandals, or even flip-flops, when I’m outside.

I could.

But I won’t.

Even when I’m at work or out-and-about somewhere wearing shoes, in my mind I’m always barefoot. I’m simply a barefoot girl wearing shoes.

There’s something free and carefree about being barefoot, don’t you think? And the older I get the less interested I am in being constrained and reigned in so I’ll take the risk of being stepping on another bee if it means I can continue my barefoot existence. It’s simply a chance I’m willing to take in order to be me: a barefoot girl.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things.
  1. I once had a letter from a reader who asked why I had VK barefoot so much – was I amplifying the West Virginia “hillbilly” stereotype? I answered her that only if I was a hillbilly stereotype, since I am a WVA native and always went barefoot–that was my thought with VK, to bring forth that part of my childhood, and my adulthood! We lived in South Louisiana a long time, where the pavement was excruciatingly hot, but that didn’t stop us. My brothers and I were in barefeet most all the time – but I was the worst of all.

    Still am that way. And the reader who emailed me, we had a nice conversation – I believe we became fb friends later.


  2. I’m a barefoot girl, too!

    Isn’t it grand?

  3. Dear Linda, like you, I go barefoot both in house and in yard all the time. But for about six weeks I had to wear shoes this year. Why? Because of a stress fracture in my second metatarsal (foot bone). I hadn’t realized that I should be wearing shoes with the fracture and so was just doing what I always do and the foot pain got progressively worse. The podiatrist then told me that going barefoot was a no-no if I wanted the fracture to heal. So six weeks of wearing shoes all the time and now free at last! Peace.

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