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Where The Red Dirt Lingers
Ronda Rich
In the summers of my childhood, I spent most days running barefooted. I wore shoes only for church on Sundays and the rare occasions that we left the farm. Otherwise, I was traipsing, shoeless, through the pasture on small adventures, wading in the creek, dashing through freshly plowed garden dirt, or picking blackberries on the distant hill. As a result, my little feet spent three months of the year stained a light copper red while, in-between my toes, despite a diligent nightly scrubbing, it deepened to a cinnamon. The screen saver on my husband’s phone is my three-year-old self in homemade navy shorts and a plaid shirt that Mama sewed from leftover dress scraps. I am barefooted, with dusty red stains stretching from my feet to my knees, with my arm thrown across my collie dog. I am perfectly pleased with myself and quite happy.