Burroughs on Barefoot

If you don’t know the man, John Burroughs was America’s most popular nature writer in the late 19th and early 20th century.  The other day I was flipping through one of his early essays and came across this commentary:

Occasionally on the sidewalk, amid the dapper, swiftly moving, high-heeled boots and gaiters, I catch a glimpse of the naked human foot. Nimbly it scuffs along, the toes spread, the sides flatten, the heel protrudes; it grasps the curbing, or bends to the form of the uneven surfaces,—a thing sensuous and alive, that seems to take cognizance of whatever it touches or passes. How primitive and uncivil it looks in such company,—a real barbarian in the parlor! We are so unused to the human anatomy, to simple, unadorned nature, that it looks a little repulsive; but it is beautiful for all that.

— John Burroughs, Winter Sunshine

Continue reading “Burroughs on Barefoot”

Burroughs on Barefoot