Dangling shoes

From the bedroom window I can see the lighthouse, but also a tree with a pair of shoes dangling on their strings on one of the branches. They have been there for years now. In summer, they are a bit out of vision, but when all the leaves have fallen, they appear again.

If I look outside, thinking about nothing much but sentences to write, questions arise. How long can a pair of shoes hang on a treebranche? Without rotting? And the shoestrings, how long can they survive all sorts of weather before they land on someones head? Why do they hang there anyway? Who did it?

I think perhaps it happened after the local marathon here, that for a reason I don’t quite grasp, always takes place in November, when the weather is worst. Was someone happy he made it? Or were those shoes part of the container full of  sportingshoes made in Asia that stranded here some years ago and someone just had too many of them, combing the beach? The beach was full of shoes then. It was on national tv for days.  Even now you can find them on sale here and there on the island.

During the autumn holidays, from my bedroomwindow I overheard a man, a pensioner with not much to do I suppose, and two German tourists, a man and a woman with a small rucksack. They looked as if the had the intention  to go and walk quite a bit.

The stopped under the tree.

“Look now!” the woman said surprised. They stared above them with a sort of eagerness only tourists have. They were willing to take in everything on their walk, not just the fresh air, but all of the environment. Even a pair of unimportant shoes.

“We do that with old shoes, it is for good luck,” the pensioner said in his best German, trying to make them believe it was a sort of local tradtion.

They did not believe him I think.  After all, shoes dangling on tree branches, that is not so unique, you can see that everywhere in the world I suppose.

They smiled politely, or scared because he, coming out of the blue, started to talk to them just like that, and walked away rapidly. The couple also got into an ugly and loud argument later on in the street. I could not overhear what is was about, although my window was open by then. But it was bad!

I closed the window and started thinking. Perhaps the pensioner was right somehow. Perhaps someone had really thrown these shoes in the tree for good luck.  People do the funniest things that way. Perhaps it had helped, even.

A day later I saw the tourists again, they were strolling in one of our 2 streets with shops, walking hand in hand. The argument was over, I suppose. And the man had purchased a pair of obvious “Beach shoes” somewhere, that was dangling on his rucksack.

Now had he thrown some old ones in a tree for good luck? I wondered.

He looked quite happy. And so did his female companion. Did one thing have to do with the other?

Those shoes will keep dangling for who knows how long. I am used to them. They are a part of the tree. As if they have always been there. For good luck.

I wrote this posting last year. This winter, one of the shoes fell down. So now the other is hanging there, all alone…


Comments on: "Dangling shoes" (12)

  1. Smartsleuth said:

    That is funny. There is a “tree of shoes” about 50 miles from where I live on a well traveled highway. There are probably over 200 pair.

    I always thought it was kind of funny. Also wondered how many tries it took to get your shoes to finally get caught on a branch.

  2. Somebody said that gangs use these shoes on wires to send messages or something like that. Is not the case here lol.

  3. We see shoes here also. Mostly over telephone wires. Electrical wires are too high. I have no clue why people do it. I have heard the “gang” story also. I suppose I might ask one of the grand children.

    • Hi Marica. Do you think one of your grand children did it? Just kidding 🙂 It seems to be a thing in all kinds of countires?

  4. Laughing.. My comment is posted at 10:32 PM. I was about to launch for my bed when I looked at the clock and realized it is only 3:32 PM.

  5. Great write up, Ina. Did you take the photos as well?

    I’ve never seen shoes in tree, or if I did I never thought much of it. Gang activity is usually marked by writings on buildings and such; it could have changed. Most act as if they are in a gang these days so it would be difficult to tell.

    Again, interesting read…do you usually have a lot of Germans on your island as you often mention them?

    • Yes I took the photo’s myself. From the bedroom window.

      This place is considered a tourist dwelling not only for the Dutch but also for many Germans. We have lots of them in holiday seasons. A lot from the Ruhr region where the air is polluted. Fresh air and the sea, they love it. 🙂

  6. Oh, just thinking back on it, seems like I heard that gangs marked their area by doing this shoe thing.
    Ina, I wouldn’t put it past any of my Grand Children, except of course the youngest, who will be 3 in April. The others are all girls and of course if they were to have thrown shoes over a phone line, or up in a tree, it would have been some else’s shoes.

  7. No Ina, it was still quite light out, but my room is below ground so I don’t notice day light. I call my computer room my dungeon.

    • So you are an underground chatter? Now I have heard about computer worms, trojan horses and other animals, but I never knew there were computer moles 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: