Aotearoa North Meets South

It feels a world away.

This jagged rock face

the dry, bitter winds

whistling through thorny Rosehip and Mataguri

over tussocks of yellow moss.

Air so cool and fresh in my lungs that it

stings my nostrils and pinkins my cheeks.

 

This place, these shortened sunlight days,

could not be more in contrast

to the sticky heat of the bush.

 

Linen off the line that comes in never quite dry.

Ferns curled as Kora

dripping with condensation.

A constant plume of flying insects following everyone, swarming on the golden beaches.

Sand in my shoes, salt in my hair.

Hot, humid nights, staring at the ceiling, trying not to move.

Early, curtainless mornings with the sun rising into orange hue.

After a seemingly endless day, the sun drops slowly into the blue ocean.

Crumbling clay banks coming alive with glow worms.

The dull ache of tired bones after a long summer.

 

So different now, as I sit amid swathes of blankets and cushions,

curtains half drawn

log burner bellowing dry heat

watching the steam rise from a cup of tea.

I look at the mountains dusted in snow.

The lake, glass-like, reflects that very same sky.

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Take your shoes off and get in amongst it: barefoot walking

Barefoot tramping
Barefoot tramping

A walk in a nearby park filled with Oak, Beach, Ash and Chestnut trees reveals the last vestiges of summer are slowly disappearing day by day. Though the sight of greenery and decay can be seen as woeful, this is the perfect time for leaf peeping and getting some fresh Autumnal air through the windpipes.

Around October many colds and other sickly viruses float around in stuffy spaces when people are feeling run down and partied-out after a season of fast paced action. But there is hope in sight! Research from Dr Mercola implies that walking barefoot allows people to pick up electrons from the ground which help keep our immune systems in check and improve our overall health:
“Your immune system functions optimally when your body has an adequate supply of electrons, which are easily and naturally obtained by barefoot contact with the Earth.
Research indicates that electrons from the Earth have antioxidant effects that can protect your body from inflammation and its many well-documented health consequences. For most of our evolutionary history, humans have had continuous contact with the Earth.
It is only recently that substances such as asphalt, wood, rugs, and plastics have separated us from this contact.”

The park near my residence
The park near my residence
Indeed, there is much evidence to suggest that on a day to day basis, most of us will walk around in socks and shoes and most often on tarmac or un-organic flooring of some kind. The research continues to suggest that not only is barefoot walking beneficial for picking up electrons, but that it is good for the foot and its muscles; strengthening the bones and increasing overall flexibility all the way up the leg.

Personally, I like to walk barefoot amongst the grass and crispy leaves for sensory enjoyment. It feels truly refreshing to press my (usually very squashed) wide feet into the soft brown earth, to feel with my soles the moving of life under the soil, to spread my toes and get air between those ignored little figures. People wonder and sometimes ask “does it not hurt, stepping on a prickle or stone?” it does, a little, but never enough to put me off. And it is good to feel a sting or stub once in a while, to alert your feet, to spread them out like the beautiful petals of a flower.

So, next time you’re out and about with the birds and the trees I urge you to kick of your shoes and bound fearlessly amongst it; do not step gingerly my friend, half the benefits of the action are in the vigour of which you go about it.

Beautiful conkers; like jewels on the ground.
Beautiful conkers; like jewels on the ground.

Information from :
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/11/04/why-does-walking-barefoot-on-the-earth-make-you-feel-better.aspx

Greece

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In my head
I transport myself a thousand
miles or so
south.

To a warm breeze on my face,
the sight of crumbling
terracotta tiles.
The sound of soft rolling waves by day
and unseen Cicadas by night.
An occasional motorised scooter winding by
and the hushed buzz of happy people.

I think back to fresh tomatoes,
stonebaked bread,
Feta cheese,
and Mussles Saganaki.
The good mood food that makes life
that bit more vibrant.

The cats,
who could forget those friendly beggars?
Dying for affection
and a saucer of milk.

A SUPERMARKET
modestly sized, in every town
smelling of tobacco, postcards and
a freezer full of ice-creams.

Easy listening music plays in seafront bars
where drinkers gaze out onto turquoise sea,
and on the hilltop;
a monastery.

So clean and bright
blue and white stands
proud from the green bush and
dusty roads.

In towns,
I transport myself to cobbled streets and alleys,
gazing at menus,
gift shops,
a head scarfed Grandma sweeping her doorstep.

Never cold,
even at night, the hot glow of my skin
keeps me warm within.

How I long to be back there;
digging my toes into golden sand
and thinking life is simply grand.

Written: March 2013