Walk through a field barefoot.

Published

Today, after swimming in the Dart River, I walked barefoot up a sloped field to get to Dartington College of Arts.  (The shell of what is left there)  I found it very interesting that the field was sporadically covered in thorny plants that hurt my feet.  I thought about the cows that normally graze on this field and how they probably don’t like to eat the thorny plants.  A mechanical lawn mower wouldn’t mind thorny plants.  I wouldn’t have noticed them if I wore boots.  I tip-toed through this field, avoiding prickles where I could—marveling at the way the field was shaping my trek across it. Was the grazed grass my infrastructure, provided by the cows? Are the thorny plants encroaching ‘nature’ or are they arising specifically because of the grazed grass? Barefoot, I weaved my way through this entwined patchwork of land, shaped by human practices yet shaping my path.

I still have a few thorns in my feet as I get ready to sleep.

By Noel Hefele

Noel Hefele is an artist living in the Bronx