A midsummer meditation for bare feet and setting moon

Breathe slowly for a moment. Don’t struggle, but be as slow as you can. Walk, breathing evenly to where you want to go. There is no hurry. Take off your shoes.

Stand in the center of a group of growing things. Look to the west and see the setting moon. Remember its shape, where it rests over the hills and watch where its rays reach the earth. Trace from the far hilltop what the shadows there are like — trees, grass, the hills themselves cast shadows toward you. Let your mind run closer to you, tracing from light to shadows and back again as you go. Notice the colors and shapes of things in the moonlight.

Notice the light reaching your body. See how it falls across your skin and clothes. Trace it downward to your bare feet. Let yourself feel the ground under your feet. Let yourself notice the lumps and the texture and the plants underneath.

Stretch downward and let yourself imagine stretching into the dirt, hands and feet growing roots, twisting around the roots of the plants already there, gently finding your own path into the soil. Feel the moisture of the earth, the cool after the warmth of the day.

Look sideways, and feel the plants around you growing upward, reaching for the sky. Slowly stand again, tracing an arc with your fingers along the stems of those plants, and continue them upward until you’ve traced to their destination far above. Reach upward, and feel even your roots straining skyward.

Slowly turn around. The sky is turning past you overhead, from the horizon, to above you, to behind. The earth is turning the opposite, carrying you forward with it. Embrace what is coming.

Again, notice your feet and what you’re standing on. Slowly move and get ready to walk back to where you came. Keep breathing evenly as you do.