Barefoot in the Park

I took off my trainers and socks and walked barefoot in mown parkland this morning. I was immediately aware of the rough texture of the short meadow grass underfoot, and then, as I walked under some trees, of the cooler, softer, greener grass. It felt damp in the shade, despite the hot, dry summer weeks we’ve had. Then back into the sun-beaten dried, pale grass, rougher and spikier to the soft soles of my feet. I was connected instantly and completely with the land. Mother Earth was giving me direct information: I realised I don’t need weather forecasts, barometers or binoculars when my bare feet can tell me so much. My earlier stresses and tiredness drained away. 

I walked carefully, mindfully, aware of thistles dotting the path, one foot in front of the other. This is fox-walking, which I learnt from a master intuitive tracker, Jon Young. A fox walks lightly, with purpose and alert, yet smoothly and with caution; all senses attuned. Pair that with “owl eyes” — a broad, more diffuse, slightly less focused gaze that heightens peripheral vision, and you can start to glide through the countryside in an almost invisible way — and spot creatures and birds before they spot you.

Blending in

I practise this a lot, because I like to blend in with my surroundings. Usually wearing greens and browns, I can stop and stand still and watch a hare lollop towards me, or sit on a fallen tree trunk and observe a young roe deer wander past, not seeing me until it’s 20 feet away. Hares seem particularly myopic, often coming right up to me — so I’m looking down on them — before they slowly look all the way up my legs and torso to my face and realise I’m human-shaped. These closer encounters give me such a thrill.

I’ve seen more foxes in the Wiltshire countryside these past months than I have in the past three years. I take this as a sign. What do I need to learn from fox? They symbolise that ability to be invisible, to blend in, to meld the energies of this world with other dimensions. The fairy realms come closer. I’m stepping more into those other dimensions myself these days. They’re beautifully expansive and exciting. Nature’s evolution is unfolding faster now. Can I stop to tune in with its rhythms, keep my flow?

With love

Saffron x

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