Step One: Wear them on your wedding day. Who needs fancy wedding shoes when you can be comfortable and happy, your feet flip flopping around underneath your satin wedding gown? Unpretentious, sandals say to your wedding guests “I am just happy you are here. Please, be comfortable.” And your Grandmother will get a kick out of it.
Step Two: Wear them on your Hawaiian honeymoon. Your new sandals need to actually feel sand. This is an important step in wearing out your sandals. This will give them security as your favorite footwear as you have taken the effort to put them into their natural habitat. Wear them on lava rock, set them beside your blanket on the beach, slap your way through town and into restaurants.
Step Three: Bring them everywhere. Your sandals will form to your foot, making your arch miss them when you are wearing actual shoes. The foot-sandal connection is a strong one, and a good sandal will understand this. Don’t be shy, wear your perfectly conditioned sandals whenever you are not at work, when you are on any errand, when you are camping and, of course, when you are on vacation or backpacking through Europe.
Step Four: Bring them as your only pair of essential every day shoes when you decide to live the life of an epic road trip. Hike in them. Scramble on rocks in them. Walk on beaches with them. Run through fields with your dog in them. Watch as you realize they are beginning, finally, to tear away from their strap. Continue to wear them until you are walking happily along in your sandals and the strap finally gives way. You will trip a little, but its worth that moment of shock to realize that it is time. Time to let them go.
My Rainbow sandals have literally been with me everywhere I have been since the day I got married in them. Nick and I each bought a pair of Rainbow’s then new line of hemp sandals and yes, we wore matching sandals on our wedding day. Fitting for two Pacific North West natives, anticipating but hoping against the rain on the morning of our outdoor wedding.
Not that a tribute to my sandals needed to be written, but it was quite a realization that I had owned and packed with me something so trivial for almost 12 years. Not just packed with me, but packed while wearing. We’ve moved countless times (like 11, so not countless, but a lot) and I think I’ve worn these sandals while packing each home.
With all the moving, the searching, the discovery and the hope comes the opportunity to stop and take a moment to realize the trivial things. Little things like something you have coincidentally carried with you all these years can be a little marker of all the interesting places you have been, or of the people you have met and that have left an imprint. My life is full of peoples imprints and the memories of all the places I’ve walked in my sandals.
I bought new ones. I wonder where those will go with me in the next 12 years.