I've been living in this city for almost 26 years now, and today for the first time ever I walked home from the subway station in bare feet.
No fancy reason, no bare-foot philosophy was at play, it's just that after I left the subway station my left foot cramped up quite painfully. I tried walking differently, shook my foot around, but it didn't stop the pain. Then, I just figured since it's a nice warm, dry day, I'd take my left shoe off and see if it helped.
Oh boy. Did it ever.
I walked a ways Deedle-Deedle-Dumpling-style, but then just took the shoe off the other foot to even it out - and because it felt so darn good.
I walked slowly so I could watch for broken glass, but the sidewalk was, overall, warm and smooth. And wonderful. There's an apartment building two blocks away that's on a gigantic block-wide lot with a lawn of cool, soft grass sort of like the stuff you'd have on a golf course green, only longer and therefore softer. My aunt and uncle's property, way up in Katrine when I was a kid, had that type of grass. Me and my brother loved walking on it. In bare feet, of course.
Now I know what they mean, in our national anthem, when they say, "glorious and free."
[Deedle pic from here]