Soggy Shoes

New Forest ColoursThe autumn colours have arrived here on the south coast, making today a great opportunity to get out into the watery sunshine and the soft warm air. A short trip over to Burley, a spot of lunch and then an early afternoon stroll in the midst of beautiful nature.

Those of you who have been to the heathland in The New Forest will know that it is areas of heather, criss-crossed with sandy paths. Even down by Whitten Pond, it is usually rather dry under foot, but not today.

The wet summer and the recent torrential rainfall has changed everything. The paths, where they have not been washed away, are a mixture of puddles and mud. The  peat beneath the clumps of heather is totally sodden, like walking on black sponge.

The fresh air seems to have done my cough and cold the world of good. The exercise, light though it may have been will have done no harm, but the jury is still out when it comes to assessing the effect of wearing very soggy shoes for a couple of hours.

Being prepared for what life throws at us is exactly what Buddhist practice is all about. Maybe I missed a lesson somewhere along the way, but I have failed to find the chapter in the Lotus Sutra that mentions stout footwear. I’ll keep looking.

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