I woke up this morning to a temperature of -22C with a windchill dropping that temperature to -33C. Yes it is cold out there. However, cold weather outside doesn’t prohibit me from writing sans vêtements while inside the house. It’s day thirteen of the NaNoWriMo challenge which asks writers to come up with at least 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November. As I write this blog post, my story has already surpassed the 30,000 word mark. But of course, my life isn’t just about writing.
As usual, my wife and I went out for a walk in the countryside. Since it is sunny, it was a much more pleasant walk than it has been during the past four days. We walked six kilometres bundled up against the cold at a pace that left me drenched in sweat upon my return. Thank goodness, I was able to take off the sweaty clothing for something more suitable for writing.
So much for the small talk about my life, now for another peek at the novel, a part of Chapter 10.
“Really, Ed?” Rainy managed to sputter out after swallowing the piece of sandwich in his mouth. “You just don’t talk about nudity to everyone. You’ve got nakedness on your brain. All people aren’t as comfortable with the topic as you are.”
Looking at Rainy with a smile on her face, Frieda added, “I’m not in the least uncomfortable talking about nudity, Rainy. The truth is, as I was telling Ed, I am almost always naked when I am at home. We Norse have a healthy attitude towards nudity, one that comes out of our earliest roots as a people. As you might or might not know, our Norse gods and goddesses were usually nude,” she added with a barely perceptible wink and smile directed at Rainy.
“Um,” was all that Rainy can say in response.
“We are born naked, and we die naked,” Frieda continues. ”That is the truth of who and what we are. So, why not live naked as much as is practical?”
Ed is quick to add his two cents worth into the discussion as Frieda opens up, “That sounds just like Job, in the Bible, and I quote, Job 1:20 – 22:
“Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, and said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither . . . In all of this Job sinned not”20
“You see, that nakedness was not a sin. Job tears off his clothes and it was all okay in God’s eyes,” Ed summarized in support of what Frieda had been saying. “And that isn’t the only time that God sees no problem with being naked in public either, he continued. “In Isaiah 20 verses 2 and 3, God commanded Isaiah to strip naked, including his shoes and to stay that way for three years. God told Isaiah to be a nudist for three years.”21
“That was back thousands of years ago,” sputtered Rainy. “You’d end up in jail if you tried wandering around buck naked for three years. Take a look at Stephen Gough in the U.K.; he tried walking around the countryside naked and he has spent a fair number of years in jail as a result.”
“You’re such a prude,” laughed Frieda. “Have you ever been naked in public, say at a beach or at a resort?”
“Never!” protested Rainy. “Those places are all about sex, sex, sex. And believe me, even Ed’s God doesn’t approve of nude and lewd.”
“Nude is not necessarily lewd,” challenged Frieda with more than a bit of heat. “Or, are you telling me that when you are nude, it’s all about sex, sex, sex? It sure as hell isn’t that way for me!”
“That’s not what I said, I said that being nude at resorts and nude beaches is not in the least like the nudity when one showers . . .”
“How do you know that?” demanded Frieda. “As you’ve said, you’ve never been to either a nude beach or nude resort.”
“She got you there, didn’t she?” crowed Ed with pleasure. “And as far as being nude in public, well let’s just say that I know you’ve been there and done that. Does naked meditation ring any bells?”
In frustration, Rainy put on his socks and shoes, and his backpack, and left the two of them sitting there. However, it wasn’t long before he sensed them walking behind him. Every once in a while Rainy heard them chatting though he refused to listen to what they might be saying. Eventually, the tree of them reached the junction that took them back onto the main pilgrimage trail. There, they joined in as part of a larger flowing line of hikers who had not taken the high road, the road less taken.
The next two hours passed in a continued silence as they walked along country lanes to Los Arcos. Rainy again kept his camera in its holder around his waist as they passed by another set of ruins, another bridge over a dry riverbed and into the town of Los Arcos. When they arrived at Casa la Fuente, where the group had planned on staying, they found out that all the beds were filled; so, they made their way further into town to try a new hostel called Casa de la Abuela. They were in luck and soon installed themselves in one of the pleasant rooms. Anticipating the arrival of their friends, they reserved the five of the six remaining beds in the room. The hospedador, the host that was taking care of arrivals, informed them that if their friends didn’t arrive by three-thirty, the beds would be given to others who needed them as well. Since there were two hours remaining, they felt that this would not be a problem. Ed offered to return to the Casa la Fuente to leave a note on the board there for the rest of the crew.
As soon as Ed had left, Rainy busied himself with washing out his socks, top, and shorts. Frieda followed his example and soon was washing her socks as well. Not noticing because of his thoughts being elsewhere, Frieda had removed all her clothes and proceeded to wash them in her birthday suit. Suddenly, it registered that he was standing beside an incredibly fit and beautiful woman with long, dark hair who was totally naked. Involuntarily, he felt his manhood responding, something that Frieda noticed as well.
“Ah, so you want to prove that nude is lewd?” she laughed embarrassing Rainy even more. “Relax, Rainy. I’m just washing my clothes and then taking a shower. Why get dressed to wash the clothing and undressed a few minutes later to wash my body.” She turned back to the rinsing of her hiking clothes and then hung them up on a line to dry in their room. Then, she grabbed her shower bag and walked into the shower room. Before disappearing into the shower room, she asked, “Aren’t you coming for a shower?”