Summer Sunshine in the Winter

Deciding what to pack

I have passed the 50,000 word target for my November novel. There is a lot more yet to be written, but the pressure is off in terms of NoNaWriMo. As a result, I am turning to getting things ready for our trip to South America. We leave in less than a week. It’s not quite last minute, but it is close.

Everything I need will have to be packed in the black backpack that has served me for two Camino walks and the European Peace Walk, as well as being a grocery bag during our winters in Mexico. If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t come. Since we’ll be in a warm climate during their summer, I won’t need much in the way of clothing – something that suits me fine. I take every possible moment that presents itself to wear nothing at all.

Lukas in Crete

My friend Lukas from the Netherlands, like many of my other naturist friends, does the same thing, escaping to a warm place in order to enjoy the world while nude. The reality that we all face is that we can’t be nude all of the time so we do need some clothing, even when we choose to stay at a naturist resort. Most of us take our small backpacks to hold our clothes when we get clothing-free time. And, if you are like me, some sort of camera as well. You can never tell when a photo moment will appear.

Lukas beside the Sea in Crete

Along the sea shore far from the crowd one finds the freedom to be fully oneself. While wandering down trails one often finds spaces that are rarely visited which invite one to risk being clothing free.

Intentionally seeking distance

Is it worth the risk of being seen?  If you choose to drop your clothing, even though you are in a secluded area one the beach or along a trail, you will eventually be seen. In my opinion, the risk is worth it. Being seen is not the problem. The real problem becomes where, how, why, and who is seen.

A woman of any age is never perceived as a threat by anyone coming upon her topless or fully nude on a beach or relaxing in a clearing along a trail. If there is any sense of threat, it is the potential threat from the clothed passersby. A man, on the other hand, is potentially a threat simply because of his gender. For anyone coming upon a naked man, especially older men such as myself or Lukas, the other conditions determine the threat level.

Lukas reading off the seaside path

A man laying in the sand off the walking path next to the shore taking some sun is viewed safer than a man laying closer to the walking path. There is a sense of the man daring passersby to look. The motivation becomes suspect – the man isn’t there to sunbathe so why is he there?  However, just the simple choice to put some distance which then gives passersby the choice to ‘not see’ makes a world of difference, such as the image here with Lukas reading. The path is visible and there is little doubt that someone may appear and see him. Yet, coming upon a naked man reading, obviously not reading nude simply to be seen, allows passersby to look away, smile, or comment among themselves about him. The threat level is mostly non-existent, and what small threat that does exist is from the passersby.

Lukas walking along the seaside, a man seeking peace and well-being.

Once I find myself in Peru, and then in Ecuador, I imagine that I will find the right places and times to shed my clothing. Of course, like Lukas, I will be making sure that my nakedness is about my need for body freedom in a manner that doesn’t serve as a threat to others.

 

Waiting for a South American Summer in December

Predawn silhouette on the prairies

No matter how hard I try, it is extremely difficult to catch the true colours of predawn skies. Typically, like in this image, the sky ends up being brighter than it actually is. The colours seem just a tad less intense as well. Still, the effort is worth it when one considers the idea of not having any sort of photo to capture this moment in time.

On the writing a novel front, I have just passed the 44,000 word mark, a benchmark that tells me my goal is well within reach. Even taking the time to put up posts here over the past three days hasn’t slowed down the writing.

On a different note, I have also begun to gather my stuff together for our departure for South America.  The clothes and other stuff that we might need for a four-month jaunt needs to fit into my 38 litre backpack. My wife has a 30 litre backpack to carry which means that I will carry all of my stuff and some of hers. I mean, men need less clothing, especially men who take every opportunity to wear no clothes at all. Before everything gets put into the pack, something I don’t anticipate doing until December 1st, I will get a photo to place here. Since we fly out early morning of December 4th, we’re not leaving much time for last-minute changes.

And so I dream of warm sun, Machu Picchu, the Pacific Ocean, and the tropics while surrounded by snow outside of my home.

 

Relaxing With a Good Naturist Read

“Going Natural” the Canadian Naturist Federation magazine.

I’m taking a short break from my writing project to enjoy a break in a bit of sunshine that is coming in from the window at the front of our home. Yesterday’s mail brought me the latest edition of Going Natural, the naturist magazine of the Federation of Canadian Naturists. I have been a member of the group since the summer of 2013 when I attended my first naturist campground and experienced social nudity.

A lot has happened in just over four years since then. Now, I feel comfortable in my own home, comfortable enough to read by the front window while wearing nothing but my skin.

Holly reading “Naked Britain.”

It only makes sense that I do a lot of reading, and even more sense that naturist books and other publications make up a good part of my current reading. Books and magazines have a way of bringing the “world out there” into our personal world. In cold climates such as during a Canadian winter when one either wears clothing or turns up the central heating, nudity is a challenge. Getting lost in a good story that paints pictures with words, or a publication that celebrates naturism with images is one way to stay connected in spite of snow outside the window.

Now, my time for a break is over and I need to return to writing a book that I hope will allow others to enjoy a few pleasurable moments being lost in a good story.

A Break in the Weather

A warm spell invites me to be outdoors in winter

Today I reached 40,000 words in quest of 50,000 by November 30th. Having just returned home from a five-night stay at my son’s home where we got to babysit our two youngest grandchildren (time well spent) where writing time was very limited, and nude time was non-existent except for sleeping hours, it felt good to be out of my clothes and adding words to my novel. With nothing on the agenda for the rest of the month, I anticipate passing the magic 50,000 words before the deadline. Eventually, the book will likely be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 70 to 90,000 words.

When we left our home, it was definitely winter outdoors with deep-freeze conditions. Today, our first day back, the sun came out and brought warm temperatures, enough to tempt me to go outside for a few moments. I had thought of staying out to enjoy a good cup of tea, but the pull to write won out. At least I can say I was outdoors, nude near the end of November. Hopefully over the next few days I can actually get to enjoy a good cup of tea in the all-together while outside in my yard.

For now, it’s back to the novel. I will return, sooner than later.

Naturist Images and the Confessions of a Soul

Three red roses

A number of years ago, forty-seven years ago, I met a young woman who captured my heart. Almost a year later, we were married and I gave her a bouquet of three red roses. Today, the symbolism of three red roses continues to have the same emotional impact as that August day.  Symbols are powerful, almost magical in the lives of everyday humans.

Three pink roses

I was struck by this image of a friend of mine, an on-line friend from the naturist community. It was simply because she is a beautiful woman, but perhaps it fell to the roses, three pink roses. This friend, like myself is married. And, like myself, she is a naturist edging deeper and deeper into the world of naturism that is characterised more by a need than a want.

We are both married to non-naturists which makes for finding ourselves in complicated situations with respect to our life-partners whom we both love. In spite of that deep and abiding love, we challenge our partners with our nudity, with the images we share with other naturists as we attempt to build some sort of community with like-minded people who embrace naturism as a way of being. Nudity is held separate from a sexual agenda.

Perhaps if there was no tension with regards to social nudity, there would be no need for naturist imagery. It’s an idea that I can’t prove one way or another. As it stands at present, the images are an attempt to achieve some sort of “presence” with others who are naturist, some sort of affirmation. Yet the existence of our images causes a certain level of stress and tension in our relationships. There is an element of risk, perhaps even fear for both the naturist and non-naturist in our relationships.

All naturist images, are acts of confession. Naturists discard clothing in hopes of discovering the hidden aspects of themselves, hidden even from them. Unconsciously, they discard clothing which have become camouflage, hiding the truth about who they are, not as men or women, but as something more. Once the portal opens to show glimpses of the real “self” hidden beneath clothing and other camouflage, it becomes almost impossible to close that door. It becomes like a Pandora’s Box.

However, it isn’t like this for all who get to see the person hidden within. Some climb back into their clothing. The fear of what might be exposed is just too great.

Comparing the Netherlands and Canada in November

Lukas in Crete 2017

I have a good friend who lives in the Netherlands. Well, actually, I have other friends who live there as well, but this blog post is about this particular friend who is a naturist like me. His name is Lukas and he has appeared here in the past. He has new photos that he has shared of being active outdoors in November, something I have managed to do as well. But there are differences in our photos as you will see.

Myself on the prairies, November 2017

On the Canadian prairies, winter has arrived with a dump of more than fifteen centimetres of snow. Snow started falling in the final hours of October 31st and has continued to fall in bits and pieces until today (more is apparently coming). This morning I took the challenge to clear off our driveway and the sidewalk in front of our house wearing as little as needed to accomplish the project. I worked until I had cleared the sidewalk, and the garden path into my neighbour’s yard before the sun had risen. It was a challenge that invigorated, and left a certain part of my anatomy rather chilled.

Woodpile shelter at Lukas’ home in the Netherlands

Like myself, my friend Lukas also decided to do some outdoor tasks nude, the placing of a rain and snow sheltering roof over the spot where he stores his firewood. The climbing ivy is still green though it is a bit chilly.

Working outdoors in November

Snow removal from our back deck

Naturally, I am one who also finds ways to extend my time outdoors, especially when there is a project to be completed.

Beginning to clean off the neighbour’s driveway.

As I still had a deck to clean off and a path to the garden, and a second path to our gate where we take a short cut when visiting our neighbour’s house, I saw another opportunity for doing that work while nude, well most of it anyway.

Since the neighbour’s driveway was open to passing traffic and to other neighbours along the street, I didn’t waste too much time putting on a coat to hide the fact that I was basically nude while doing the work. Thankfully, I got my nude working time outdoors. I know that the weather will keep me indoors most of the time until I leave for Peru and Ecuador where I will again be warm.

Tis the Season to Write Nude

Honouring the craft of writing a novel.

It’s that time of year again, the time when many writers dedicate a month to the craft of writing a novel. The objective is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. It sounds simple until you start such a project. I have been successful in the past with this annual project, so I don’t anticipate a failure. That said, I don’t assume anything. Life, and the muse may have other things in mind for me.

I have begun the new novel with a very sketchy idea. I want to write a story, or more correctly, a series of stories that tell a larger story. It seems that the weather has decided to encourage me to stay indoors so that I can focus better on the task. With snow, wind, and cold temperatures, writing while nude has become a bit of a challenge. I have finally accepted the need for using a small heater in my office, along with a pair of socks so that my feet stay warm without getting too hot, a problem that I have with wearing my slippers.

One thing I can tell you about the novel, it isn’t about naturism. Another thing I can tell you is that it is an important story for me to tell. With that said, I promise you that there will be more naturist stories to be told in the future.