Mmmmm – I feel good and rested and at peace. It’s amazing what four weeks without much of an agenda, lots of sunshine, a place to enjoy that sunshine without worrying about clothing or offending others can do for a person’s well-being. I know that at some point I will be returning to the real world, and by that I mean the world where I have my home, my neighbours and community; a place that is more of a fish bowl than being a stranger in a strange land. This ground-level balcony is where I sit to write in Corozal, Belize. Around to the left side of the yard, I get a private space to sunbathe.
At home I have a persona that has put me into a social class that is above many others, and that has its own drawbacks. Neighbours who have become friends are drawn to the house to see my wife and simply to be in proximity as though by being in proximity their own status will rise accordingly. Since we live in a small town of only 550 people, all eyes are watching. There is no chance to hide away in the back yard, garden area for sun bathing as our neighbours enjoy dropping by to have a beer, glass of wine or simply to natter away with their tales of gossip about other neighbours and events. The only time that being clothes free can happen is in the late evening when we lock our doors for the evening and the draperies are closed. The doors get locked to let neighbours know that we are done for the day.
I love my home and I truly appreciate my friends and neighbours in this town we adopted near the end of my career. I have no intention of leaving to find anonymity in a city, anonymity and privacy. So what is a person to do? Having had so much freedom from clothing here in Belize and Mexico, how will I deal with constantly being under the lens and needing to wear clothing? To risk more would be to risk being a member of the community. Since we came as strangers to this community, all that we have going for us is our participation in this very conservative, even red-necked community. Getting caught with my pants down would shut doors faster than could be imagined. Needless to say, I won’t risk this for either myself or my wife.
Now, this is a story that most naturists have to tell. The place names may change, but we all are part of communities that don’t understand or accept the philosophy of naturism and nudism. We deal with it and make the best possible of our situations as we carve small parts out for our own private needs.