As I was waiting for the start of my yoga class this week, I sat on my mat admiring the brightly colored toenails of my fellow yogis. Splashes of yellow, turquoise, orange and purple danced across floor as the studio began to fill—a true indication that flip-flop weather is in full swing. Eventually, my attention came back to my mat and class began. I stood still in mountain pose then swooped down for my first forward fold, when I came face-to-face with the tragic condition of my own little piggies.
At first, I wanted to run and find a pair of socks. My cracked, stained feet with bits of dirt stuck under the nails—which shamelessly exploited my bad habit of walking everywhere, including in my garden, barefoot—looked homely compared to the perfectly pedied feet of the ladies around me. What right did I have to stand here among a class of the fine-footed?
I indulged in a few moments of vanity, pitying myself and my homely feet, when (thankfully) I snapped out of it.
What’s wrong with having cracked, stained feet with bits of dirt stuck under the nails, anyway? Sure, they could use a little lotion on the heel and perhaps a file to the nail, but their rough look can only mean one thing: I’ve actually been somewhere.
That moment my pity turned away from myself and, instead, toward the girls who boasted soft, clean feet with brightly painted nails. Those poor girls don’t know what it’s like to walk through the garden dirt to trim blooms off plants for a refreshing spring tea or splash barefoot through the cool water of a forest creek. They might have never gotten blisters from hours upon hours shuffling through rows of peas, but they also never had the opportunity to taste the crunch of a pod straight of the vine, either.
Each of has a story to tell, and the story is written across our feet, our hands, our faces and our hearts. Our imperfections divulge our successes and our failures, our struggles and our celebrations. A body without imperfections is the same as a life without adventure. And who wants that?
It can be easy, sometimes, to get swept up in comparing ourselves to others, to finding fault in ourselves the things others do so well. That’s a dangerous path to start venturing down, though. Don’t do it. As farmers, our lives are literally dirty at times and our bodies have to endure many hardships. Instead of putting socks on your feet or makeup over that scar, wear your imperfections proudly. Allow them to tell the parts of your story your lips are unable to. And remember, without those marks of the passing time, you wouldn’t be the person you are today.
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