I try hard to be clean, but I do have to admit, there are days when I am a complete mess. Some days, I don’t take time to style my hair or put on makeup. I never polish my nails, and I’m much more comfortable going most places in sweats. I’m still waiting to see my picture pop up on the People of Wal-mart website.
But life is busy. There are so many things to see and do. I don’t want to worry about smearing my lipstick or mascara running under my eyes. I don’t want my hands just to look pretty. I want them to create. I want my face to show expression regardless of wrinkles, and I want my feet to walk all corners of this earth through grass, mud, water, and dust.
I try to clean myself up when I go out to work or to social engagements, but I don’t always succeed. For example, last Sunday, I was standing with my co-workers at our morning meeting, and I just happened to glance down at my feet. Oh, my gosh, though I had showered and put on clean clothes that morning, I hadn’t realized that my Sketchers were still covered in mud! When I had arrived home last night, I had rinsed my muddy shoes off in hot water in the bathroom sink. When I thought they were clean, I had placed the shoes in the bathtub to dry. I got up Sunday morning at 5 o’clock. I quickly showered, dressed, and slipped on my still slightly damp shoes. I didn’t even realize until I got to work that there was mud still caked on my Sketchers.
I was a little embarrassed, at first. But then, I thought about how the mud had gotten onto my shoes in the first place. The day before, Saturday, a friend, Chandra, and I decided to go to the Renaissance Festival in Kansas City, Kansas. The festival is one of my favorite places. I go at least once every year when I am in Kansas. Chandra and I were lucky that we had picked Saturday to attend the fair. Saturday was the only clear, dry day in a week’s time. It had heavily rained in the Midwest for six days. Even though the sun was lazily shining on Chandra and me, the ground was still heavily saturated with water from the heavy rainfalls from the numerous storms. But Chandra and I didn’t really mind. We sloshed through the deep mud as we laughed together, talked to the many characters, took pictures, shopped at the numerous stalls, watched the people, were awed by craftsmen plying their trades, and had interesting psychic readings. Along the way, we slipped and slid through the mud as we walked along the many trails and paths that circled around the festival. In some areas, the mud was so deep that our feet would actually sink into the ground with each step we took. The mud would squish up over the top of our shoes. But Chandra and I didn’t care, because after six dark cloudy days, the sun was finally shining, and we were having fun out in the fresh air and sunshine as golden leaves fell from the trees all around us. So…what’s a little mud…
So Sunday morning….and for the rest of the day…whenever I looked down at my muddy self, I remembered the fun we had had on Saturday at the festival…and I just smiled and laughed….and I didn’t care what anyone else thought about the mud that clung to my shoes. It honestly didn’t matter. When life has been fun and good, I don’t care what negative thoughts and opinions other people may have of me.
And yes, I am very messy sometimes, maybe even downright dirty every now and then. But I live my own life and value my own truth and I know what’s important to me…and that’s all that really matters. So I let the mud remain on my shoes, and I let it naturally peel off a little more every day. And instead of trying to hide my shoes, I wear these messy Sketchers proudly. I smile, I remember, and I hope everybody notices the mud on my shoes.