I’d have to guess that all of my neighbours have seen me skyclad in my yard or in my home in Canada. It was something that took a few years of easing myself into the open areas of the yard regardless of the season. The reaction of my neighbours has been significantly non-reactive. I wonder if it is due to the fact that most of the community has either read the hard copies or digital copies of my books that tell the story of my childhood, and the other books that presents poetry accompanied by nude photography.
Here in Mexico, my landlady who lives in the front of the house has frequently seen me skyclad while I write, relax, sunbathe, or am otherwise occupied in the yard. Of course the windows are never shuttered making it easy to see inside the suite where I am almost always nude. I did let her know in advance, asking permission to have the yard and garden as clothing optional when she doesn’t have company wanting to share the yard.
In none of my nude adventures outside of the safe areas of home and holiday home, have I been confronted about my proclivities though many know that I am a naturist. No one comments or asks. In all situations it is simply one person engaging with another person assuming the best of each other. It works. Always assume the best and you will generally get a positive response. With negative responses I try to listen so that I can hear what is the real issue. So far, it has never been an issue about my nudity.
So, how did it happen that I have been gently accepted in my community, and tolerated for my nudity in my home and garden areas? I would think it has to do with having my community know who I am. For several years I was the school principal, and I was respected for my role and efforts. With the years following seeing me take on roles of university instructor and Director of education in distant areas and always coming home to the community when contracts were completed, I affirmed to the community that they were my home community of choice. I was a professional from the city who had chosen their rural community as my home. They were aware of my continuing professional activities as a counsellor, writer and photographer, activities which they adopted as a celebration of their community.
Thinking back to how this has all unfolded over the past fourteen years, I am certain that by not rushing out and confronting them with the reality of just how different I was, allowed time and experience to build enough respect between the community and I. That said, I refrain from overt challenges to the broader community. In allows my receptive neighbours time and opportunity to serve as a buffer between myself and potential antagonists within the community. I guess, like the story of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady will always win the day.