They’re made of sheepskin … and so comfy. They’re created by human hands in a Canadian village appropriately named Mountain View. The store is only a few kilometres from a home of mine – Waterton Lakes National Park.

My slippers have graced all the homes I’ve had for the last twenty years. And now they’ve accompanied me to Belgium.

Many months ago, I noticed a hole growing in the right slipper, near the heel. I made a decision that feels unusual for me … to be careful. My thinking went something like this:

Well, Bruce, you’re going to a new country and you don’t know how often you’ll come back to Canada. Look at that hole! It would be wise to buy another pair of your beloved slippers so your feet will be happy for many European winters to come.

Basically, my small mind convinced my large mind to take a seat in the back row. It’s similar to the discussion that some Canadian friends had with me: “You can’t leave our health care!” That time I ignored worries about the future. This time I bought the slippers.

It’s felt strange in Ghent to look into my closet at the unused footwear, to sense that I’m prepared but that there’s something unnecessary here.

Then there was two days ago. I often get a text from my downstairs neighbour Dirk that offers a sweet invitation: “Coffee?” Sometimes I’m just waking up, so I say “Ten minutes”.

I pull on my red robe, slip into slippers and walk the two flights of stairs down to my friend.

“I love your …” Dirk was looking at my feet. He didn’t know the English word.

I don’t remember thinking. I noticed my bum lifting off the chair, my feet sliding towards his door, up the stairs, into my bedroom. My hand entered the closet. And then I returned …


I’m laughing at me

Careful is not a good fit

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