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As If For the First Time

I arrived just before sunrise. 
To a beach along the ocean. 
When I stepped from the boardwalk to the sand I noticed shoes. Shed at the doorway of the beach. 
I did the same-left my shoes. Then joined the others waiting for day break as we stood in silence and hushed tones. Some alone. Some holding hands. All waiting in awe for the daily great event as if it would be seen for the first time. 
I’ve witnessed this in other places too-sunrises, of course, but I’m speaking of the shedding of shoes. 
At homes where I’m the guest we slide off shoes as we hug and hand off flowers and wine.  
In remote temples in the mountains of Colorado there are shoes in a small pile at the entrance. 
At morning meditations gathering along the shores of the Ganga in India. 
At a hut in Costa Rica. 
On the back porch of our cabin where books are read on rainy summer nights. 

I think this leaving of shoes at the entrance thing isn’t just for comfort. Or only convenience or even cleanliness. 
I think it’s a way to show a gentle sort of respect. 
Reverence even, for what you’re walking into. 
A gesture to acknowledge the sacred connection between the earth and us with nothing in-between.  To honor the space where friends gather, where we are a bit more vulnerable, where heads bow, prayers are ushered, strangers meet, or the sun pushes up behind the sea to signify another beautiful day of endless possibilities. As we stand together in awe of what is unfolding before us…as if for the first time. 

Live Your Light


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