I have written in the past using photos provided by M and S who live in Montana. Retirement is not treated as a time for sitting back in a rocking chair for this couple who are filled with a zest for life, a zest that takes them walking trails on the slopes of mountains and through wilderness valleys.
I sometimes find moments in the wilderness to be free to wander as I was created. But to be honest, not that often.
There is the issue of the trails being public trails. And then, a much more serious consideration here on the prairies, is the presence of mosquitoes and other biting insects. For me, following dirt trails away from cultivated land, into the rolling hills, a landscape that is semi-desert with the requisite cactus and a distinct lack of humans. There, like M, I take time to note where I am. If I am lucky, a mule deer, or pronghorn antelope, or a variety of birds appear to keep me company. And, like M, the occasion merits being captured by the camera.
Unlike M and S, I take my strolls into the quiet of nature alone if I am to be skyclad like them. My wife is very supportive of my need to be skyclad, but doesn’t find the same need in herself. I take the time to meet my needs, when time and opportunity permits. And when the situation is right, she shares time with me while skyclad.
Relationship demands respect of and from the other(s) in a relationship. The greater the differences, the harder to balance those differences without demanding that the other mirrors the self. We cherish so many shared needs, activity, and habits – but more importantly, we leave space for the other to be a unique individual. The time of trying to mould the other to fit a desired template, has passed.