Sharleen really loves nature, so while her friends were taking a break and playing games, she decided to take a walk along the creek and see what interesting things she could find. She felt her feet were getting hot and sweaty, so she sat down, untied her shoes, and took 'em off. Since she wasn't wearing socks, she was immediately barefoot. Aahh...it felt fantastic!
That was actually against the rule since she was at a school function and wearing her uniform, but she didn't give a f*ck. Her feet had to be free in such a wonderful place! She figured if she got caught, she would just apologize. No big thing.
She didn't want to carry her shoes around either, so she just left them on the ground. She would put them back on when she returned. Or so she thought. :) The funny thing is, wearing a tie didn't bother her at all. So she kept her tie on as she walked barefoot towards the woods.
Suddenly she saw a little white bunny hopping around in the grass, and she tried to approach it. She knelt down and tried to befriend it, but the bunny ran away instead. She went after it without realizing that she was going deeper into the forest. She ran along a dirt path that was kinda wet, and her bare feet got a little muddy.
Because she got distracted she lost sight of the bunny. Only then did she realized how far she had gone into the forest. There was no more dirt path, so she could not track her way back. She walked around but she had lost direction.
She started to panic, and yelled out her friends' and teachers' names but of course, no one could hear her. She had no cell phone or anything else as she left her backpack with her friends.
Meanwhile, it was starting to get dark as the sun was setting. She continued to walk hoping to see an opening, a path, or anything that would bring her back to safety. But it seemed the more she walk, the deeper she got into the woods.
Sharleen was not a cry-baby, but at the time she was in despair. She was really scared. So she sat down and sobbed. Tears ran down her cheeks, and her nose started to run again.
She suddenly remembered what she had always learned. Attitude is everything! She needed to be positive. It's hard in a situation like that, but that's all the more reason to be positive. Her life depended on it. So she wiped her tears with her hands and blew her nose, then took a deep breath and told herself everything would be OK. What good things could she focus on?
She looked down at her feet and giggled. There she was in full uniform including a tie, and her feet bare and muddy. It was all because of that frickin' bunny! But hey, at least she got to enjoy walking in the woods barefoot which was heavenly! So she decided to walk some more. It was almost completely dark now.
She closed her eyes and imagined seeing a house where she could get help. Fat chance, right? Who on earth would be living in the middle of the forest? Well, sometimes imagination is what it takes. As she continued walking, she saw a small wooden hut with thatch roof in the distance, and there was a dim light flickering in the window. At first she thought her eyes were playing tricks on her. But no, it was real!
Sharleen was overjoyed as she ran towards it. Without hesitation she knocked on the door. After a few seconds it opened slowly with a creak, and there stood an old woman with grey hair wearing a long dress. "Well, hello there! What brings you here beautiful child?" she said.
Sharleen was taken aback. "Oh...uh...I'm kinda lost, mam!" she said. "You see, I was on a field trip and decided to explore the surroundings on my own, and now I can't find my way back. It's already dark, and I'm afraid everyone has left."
"Well, come on in, my child!" said the old lady making way for Sharleen to walk in.
The hut was small and dark. It had a dirt floor and no electricity. The woman used an oil lantern and candles to light the place. She told Sharleen to sit at the table and said, "You came right on time. I'm about to have dinner and I can share some food with you. You must be hungry."
Indeed she was starving, and was happy to be invited to dinner. The food was all vegetables and fruits but it tasted pretty good. After they finished eating the old lady, who was barefoot herself, asked Sharleen why she wasn't wearing any shoes. So she told her that she hated wearing shoes and loved nature, so she decided to take them off and walk barefoot into the woods. But she went too far and lost her way. All because of a cute little bunny.
"Well, we have lots in common. I'm barefoot all the time too. That way I'm one with Mother Earth" said the old woman. "And there are no coincidences. I believe you were brought here by the goddesses, and our encounter will benefit both of us," she continued.
She went on to tell Sharleen that she was a witch. She lived off the land, and didn't believe in modern technology which she said only corrupts the earth and all living things, including humans. She told Sharleen not to worry. She would spend the night in her shack, and early the next morning she would show her how to get back home.
Sharleen was in awe. She met a real life Hawaiian witch. Way cool! She was to sleep on the couch. Yes, in her uniform! As she lay on the couch, which was kinda hard and uncomfortable, her thoughts wandered. She knew that most witches are good people, but what if... she was one of the wicked ones like often told in fairy tales? But she was too tired to entertain that thought any further, and soon fell asleep.
The witch woke her up as the sun was rising. She gave her fruits for breakfast and right after they ate, she took Sharleen out and walked with her along a dirt path. It was quite a long walk down the hill, and both of them were barefoot. Soon Sharleen was able to see the highway - the main highway that goes around the island. She was greatly relieved.
The witch said to her, "You see my child, there's a bus stop right at the end of the path. Just take the bus that will bring you home." She gave her some money for the bus fare since Sharleen didn't carry any money, and her bus pass was in her backpack.
She also gave her a little pouch and said, "I want you to keep this. Open it when you get home. Let it be the guide in your life! And this won't be the last time we see each other." She then chuckled as she stroked the girl's hair.
Sharleen didn't quite understand what she meant but she took the money and the pouch, and thanked the witch for all her kindness. They hugged as they got to the end of the path, and Sharleen sat at the bus stop, and witch walked back up.
It was rush hour, and there were a lot of people at the bus stop which made Sharleen uncomfortable. Unlike me, who often went barefoot while in uniform, she had never done it. She always said it was awkward, and embarrassing (I think because mom often told her it was inappropriate). And now there she was doing it as she had no choice.
The bus came, and it was full. There were no more seats available, and she had to stand which made her even more uneasy as she felt all eyes were on her - a girl in a school uniform with bare and muddy feet!
Then a young man stood up and gave his seat to Sharleen. "Thank you," she said as their eyes met and they both smiled. The young man winked at her. She felt a little better. Seated next to her was an old woman who was wearing a hat, so her face wasn't clearly visible.
The woman asked her, "Are you going to school?"
"Huh?! Oh...uh...no, I'm actually going home!" replied Sharleen and she giggled nervously. "Oh sh!t, please leave me alone," she thought to herself.
But the lady said again, "Going home so early in the morning? Shouldn't you be in school?"
Sharleen was like, "Oh, well uh...you see it's a long story...I was on a field trip yesterday and kinda got lost, and spent the night with an old lady in the forest."
"Aha!" said the woman. "But why aren't you wearing shoes? Do they let you go barefoot to school?"
Sharleen was getting fidgety. "Uh...no, they don't," she answered trying hard to maintain her composure. "But uh... I hate wearing shoes," she giggled again and wiggled in her seat. "And so uh... I took 'em off and left them somewhere on the ground before I got lost."
"Oh, I see!" said the old lady, and she chuckled.
Sharleen thought her chuckle sounded kinda familiar, but she was only too happy when the woman finally kept quiet, and she didn't think further of it.
So it came time for Sharleen to get off the bus. As she was standing up the woman said to her, "You have a blessed day, my child!"
"Thank you, and you too, mam!" replied Sharleen. As she was walking away, she heard the woman say, "Remember, let that be the guide in your life!" and she heard that familiar chuckle again.
Sharleen was startled and was like, "Wha...Whaat?! Wait...!" She turned her head around, but there were a lot of people standing behind her, and she could not see the lady. So she proceeded to get off the bus.
As she was standing outside she looked through the window trying to see the face of the woman. But she was nowhere to be seen. The seat she was sitting in was empty! She then looked among all the people who had gotten off trying to find the woman but of course, she couldn't!
As she got home Sharleen opened the pouch. Inside was a small bottle with dried herbs in it. There was an old, discolored label on it with a handwritten word, LOVE.
Now she understood what the old witch meant by "let it be the guide in your life." She was referring to LOVE which should always guide our life!
Needless to say, Sharleen got in big trouble with mom and dad, and the school but I'll spare you the gory details! :)
So, did you like the story? Well, I have a confession to make. It's fictional! Most of it anyway, as there are a few facts weaved in. Sorry, I didn't mean to deceive you or anything, I just wanted to post an entertaining barefoot story with a little spooky touch in time for Halloween. And I know many of you like Sharleen, so I made her the star. :) But the story could have easily been real, especially in a mystical place like Hawaii.
So happy Halloween, and like the barefoot angel always says at the end of her articles, have a magical day!