Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.
Spring is a season of new growth, sunshine, and intensely abusing my feet. It is too cold to walk around barefoot during the winter, so my feet go soft inside my socks and boots. When it gets even remotely not cold in March or April I venture into the great outdoors shoeless.
And it fucking hurts.
In the early spring, the ground is not warm. It doesn't matter how bright the sun is shining. The ground is not warm. It is cold. But I walk on it anyway. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? I mostly walk on pavement during this time, as nobody wants to come to the forest with me while everything's still dead. So I walk by myself, scraping the heels and balls of my feet until even gentle carpet causes me pain to stand on.
I give myself time to heal between each outing. A couple of days usually does it, and each time my feet are slightly harder than they were the time before. The ground gets warmer, too, and soon enough I've got to work a bit to make my feet sore. I can go farther and on more difficult paths. The woods become more inviting than the streets and sidewalks. Packed dirt trails are the easiest to walk on. They're smooth and relatively soft without being annoyingly squishy like sand.
And then comes summer. The sun rises early to heat up the pavement. I read a sign outside a pet shop that said at just 77 degrees the asphalt can get up to 125. At 86 it's about 140. That's hot. Like burn-your-feet hot. It doesn't matter how many layers of hard dead skin I've built up, I get burned. Of course, that doesn't stop me from walking on it anyway. The burning does not strengthen my skin either, it just hurts to put any weight on it for a couple days. You would think I'd learn my lesson after scorching my poor feet a few times, but no. Every year I burn them. Every. Single. Year.
As autumn passes through, it gets much easier to walk barefoot. The pavement cools and plants in the forest start to recede, allowing for simpler paths. School starts in autumn, too, forcing me to enclose my once free feet in sneakers for eight hours every day. I do get a kick out of halloween, though. I can run around in whatever the hell I want, including an absence of shoes, and strangers give me candy. I will never grow out of candy, just like I will never grow out of going barefoot. I will always love it when my cousin calls me 'leather feet'.
Autumn goes fast. Winter sets in in November, and I can no longer stand to walk barefoot more than a few minutes. It rains nine days out of ten, making the ground even colder. So I wrap my toes up in protective layers instead. The heels and balls of my feet get squishy grow squishy inside them, and the cycle goes on.