My Shoe’s Got Soul . . .

By Yours Truly

This is who I am. I love to recycle things that have meant something to me. I found these shoes in a thrift store years ago. I fell in love with them because the shoe brand was something like Sam and Jane and they were about the most comfortable shoes I ever had with a soft sole and leather that seemed to breathe. The original shoes were brown, not gold. But one day as I went to get my shoes to go someplace, the sole of one was literally falling off of it. Of course I was heartbroken, but then I had this idea to make a play on words and to give one of the shoes a whole new life, so I came up with this idea.

The “wings” are on a base which is made from the sole of one shoe, and I found the most wonderful colored organiza with a nice stiffness to it that allowed me to cut out the little leaves. The leaves seemed appropriate to me because shoes wouldn’t tend to go up in the air (except for the kids who throw them over the telephone lines). And I remembered in the compass of my soul how much fun it was as a kid (and ok, I confess, as a grownup too) to jump in a pile of leaves). And I had to make her a happy and bright color full of life, for that is how I remembered those old comfy shoes.

It’s so many years later since I made her, “My Shoe’s Got Soul.” She’s still with me, and I imagine that she will still be when I take my last jump into those leaves. And it’s funny because she led me to write a story called “Tenshoes and the Skittyfoot” about ten orphan shoes who live in a trash dump, and every Saturday, the animals up in the meadow above hear “sootspeak” because the dump is putting out ugly smoke and it is mixed with the angry and sad words from the ten orphans arguing because they were just thrown away like they never mattered after living lives with adventure. They were never appreciated for who and what they were, and the dump is a horrible place to live.

The Skittyfoot is a little boy with red (really red) hair who comes to visit the creatures in the meadow every day, and the little boy can talk to them and they to him. They tell him about the Tenshoes, and that they want him to go and rescue the Tenshoes from the ugly dump and bring them up to the meadow where they can live safely. But before they can come up to the meadow, they have to find things and fix themselves up as best as they can. Just because they are orphans doesn’t mean they cannot have pride in themselves.

So the Skittyfoot goes down to the dump, and ultimately gets the tenshoes to clean and fix themselves up, and help each other, which they do. Ultimately they go to the meadow with the Skittyfoot, and the little creatures in the meadow all make them welcome and they will have a forever home where they are loved and treasured.

No, I never published Tenshoes and the Skittyfoot though I guess I could have. Some things just live on in our hearts and in the compass of our souls. I’ve been a sort of orphan too, and it took me awhile, for I didn’t have a Skittyfoot or other orphans like me to help, but I fixed myself up nice and clean (there is not and never has been anything related to drugs or other similar things but a transformation from being a childhood orphan), and now I can make things like “My Shoe’s Got Soul” to help others to feel good about themselves too.

Isn’t it strange how life brings little things into our consciousness to help us learn to grow and to care for ourselves, even if we were a kind of orphan in our younger lives? And using art to fix up an old shoe that brought happiness to a life can be a symbol of that. We don’t have to find fancy things or to do anything special to make it up to the meadow from the dump. The recognition of value in little things is what brings a true transformation to us in our lives. Your life, no matter how small you may think it is, is a miracle. Live it like the true gift it is.


Wild and Endangered . . .

Orphaned baby burro being cared for at Donkeyland.

I love wild burros or donkeys. They are beautiful creatures, and very personable. They show feelings for their family members, gathering around a newborn baby burro and putting their heads up in the air to bray. Once when we drove through Reche Canyon in Southern California (about 35 minutes away from where we live), we stopped off the main road through there so that I could see the burros better. As soon as we were stopped, a family of a father, mother and two babies came up to the car on my side. The mother pushed the babies, one at a time, over to the window and allowed me to pet each of them and then she and the father turned the children and they began to walk slowly away.

Bob Barker, 95 years old, founder of Donkeyland Rehab and Rescue Center

We were glad to learn that Bob Barker, who is a genuine animal lover and who has provided rescue for many creatures, started Donkeyland. Before this, the donkeys, wandering wild through the canyon, had no fencing between them and the road through, and frequently got hit, breaking their legs or worse, and often resulting in their needing to be put down.

Injured donkeys Bambi and Gabriel, Soulmates arriving at Donkeyland for rehab.

We can truly be happy that someone is caring about these creatures and making sure they are going to be safe. The rehab and rescue center is bring more of the wild burros regular, either injured or those who get rounded up to make sure they don’t get wounded.

Donkey getting ready to enjoy his fresh water trough.
A good bunch of rescued burros.
How can you not love this creature?

If you like the wild burros and would like to help, you can go on and see more photos, as well as to contribute in some small way. Thank you kindly.