Yesterday, I was on my daily walk (injury necessitates walking rather than running at the moment- BOO!). The slower pace and less heavy breathing allow for more observation of my surroundings which on this day proved rather providential. Part of my route takes me past a spot where a year ago my favorite tree stood. My eyes are magnetically pulled in that direction. I am always struck afresh with the melancholy of its absence almost as startling as the magnificence of the tree that once was. I guess I can’t help myself from harboring a wellspring of hope that I only dreamed it was cut down. A lovely little bench that rested in the shadow of the canopy of that tree still stands with no respite from the summer sun. However, today, something was amiss amongst the new familiar. I spied a pair of empty shoes placed rather neatly in front of that bench; as if their owner had stepped gingerly out of them and bent down to straighten them up just so, and disappeared into thin air. I looked around to see if the owner might be nearby, but I was quite alone in that space.
As I walked closer, I noticed that they looked well worn and comfortable. They had newspaper stuffed on the inside, maybe to hide a hole, or make them warmer, or perhaps to help them fit a little tighter. They were placed in such a way, that you might find bedroom slippers next to a bed. I was left to wonder how they came to be there. There is no doubt in my mind that if they could talk, they would have quite a story to tell….those shoes. Were they a clue left behind for someone else to follow? Were they merely outgrown? Was their owner leaving the old behind to step into a new pair? Had the shoes become too comfortable to perform their bipedal purpose?
All of those questions are applicable to my story right now. Do I need to be looking for clues to follow? Am I beginning a new life chapter too, whereby I need to leave the old behind and seek the new? Have I become too comfortable with the familiar and in need forging out of my comfort zone to perform my purpose? It is all very curious…very curious indeed. Who knew an empty pair of shoes could prompt so much food for thought. Yes…. Who indeed?
“Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” ~ Matthew 9:17