Thursday, February 5, 2009

Old Shoes Day

According to one website,
today is Old Shoes Day.

Sounds kinda cool,
but it doesn't really explain
exactly how we're supposed to celebrate
or what type of old shoe festivities the
five o'clock news might be covering.

I decided to observe this obscure date
by looking through my closet
and sorting out my shoes -
just so I could make the old ones
feel good about having their own party.

I found the black boots I've never worn,
the new sneakers that gave me blisters,
and the still polished high heels
that I use only in emergencies -
like when I can't find a hammer.

I crawled around in the closet,
tossing aside flip flops
in a dozen Popsicle colors,
setting aside woolen booties
and hospital-only slippers
and some really ugly leopard loafers
that I bought for a costume party.

I was beginning to wonder where
all my old shoes had gone.
Had they died and turned to dust?
Had I thrown them out
during my biyearly house cleaning?

Suddenly a mangled canvas form caught my eye.
There - in the dark musty corner of my
crawl-in-and-hope-nothing-falls closet...
slept my favorite old shoes.

Green with grass stains and speckled
with remnants of garden mud,
my old tennis shoes almost seemed to whimper
as I pulled them into the sunlit bedroom.
The laces were frayed, the soles were worn,
and the original white color was
now a faded watercolor gray.

But all I could feel was love.

These were the shoes that I had worn
when I mowed beautiful spring grass,
planted tiny fragrant tomato plants,
fished for bass near the pond,
and abused on crazy four-wheeling trips.
They were my go-out-to-get-the-mail shoes,
my take-out-the-garbage favorites -
my keep-by-the-door quickie footwear.

I found it sad to think that my life
had gotten so busy, so hectic, and so unorganized
that I had unknowingly forsaken my favorite old shoes
and banned them to the dungeon of my cluttered closet.

I still don't know what Old Shoes Day is all about.
I don't know how we're supposed to celebrate-
what sort of special food and games we're supposed
to have- if balloons and confetti are appropriate...

But I am celebrating today in my own special way.

I pulled on the shriveled sneakers,
brushed off the dust,
gently tied the weak laces,
walked across the sunlit room-
to dance.