I recently ran into a beautiful story, “The Black Sandals” by the Puerto Rican author Marisel Hilerio.
In it she talks about having the courage to try anything you want regardless of fear; to live in the present; to wear those new shoes now instead of waiting for that “special day” – as she puts it.
For most humans is very hard to live in the present, especially now in the midst of a pandemic.
I translated this story for you in the hope that it may bring some light into your day. Sometimes we hear a message many times – and you may have heard this one before – but we don’t always listen to it. Who knows? Maybe today… you’ll have an a-ha moment!
The Black Sandals
The last time that I bought new shoes for my mom was in the form of a pair of black sandals. She put them on that same day. I was surprised when I saw her wearing them because I had bought them for a “special day”. So I asked why she had put them on that quickly and she answered: “What if I die tomorrow? Someone else will wear them. They’re to be worn today”.
She passed away two months after.
Today I recalled mom’s black sandals again, a bit worn out, and remembering I asked myself:
What are we waiting for to wear something new?
What’s exactly a “special day” when life is to be lived only once?
That’s how we live life, waiting for the right moment, the exact moment, the special day to wear that thing that will make us feel better…
How many people arrived here without saying what they wanted, without wearing what they wanted, without going back to some place or without asking for forgiveness?
The love stories that never happened for waiting a little bit too long to say it.
The marriages that were broken because the other one didn’t say “I’m sorry” first.
Friends who stopped talking to each other because of a misunderstanding.
The family that never reunited again because they couldn’t find the time.
The dreams that remained dreams because of waiting for the opportunity.
The honest people we lost because they were truthful, and we were hurt.
What if tomorrow doesn’t come?
What didn’t you wear, so someone else would?
Who did you leave for someone else to love?
Which words didn’t you pronounce?
Which “I’m sorry” are you still living with in your chest?
To whom you should have closed the door without ever looking back?
Which adventure didn’t you follow?
We keep to ourselves words, company, feelings, dreams, only for fear to fail, for shame or even worse, for pride.
And so we go on, calming our heartbeats without noticing that we remain inert before life, just because we’re waiting until tomorrow. Tomorrow doesn’t exist, it’s just a hope, an idea that may not arrive. We only have today. We must wear those new shoes before someone else does.
Fight for what you love, fight for your dreams, and live TRYING before someone else has the courage to the best feat.
Remember, live life!
Every morning, when we open our eyes on this “crazy” land, is God’s way of telling us: have the courage and try, take the risk, today may be the day! If you fail, I’ll be here. And if you win, I’ll be here too.
Today I was in the same place where her body remains. In silence, and with tears in my eyes, I recalled her black sandals. And I remembered that I wanted to wear these colorful loafers I have that I never wore for fear to get wet. What if they get wet? They’ll dry. What if they break? I used them! What if it doesn’t work? I tried.
Now, here, I’m thinking: Today is a good day to wear new shoes; to start making your dreams a reality. Do you still have something you never used before? Go and wear it! Live the moment!
I believe in you,