I have been awake since about 4:45 this morning. I am not tired and the early morning light made it impossible to go back to sleep. After taking some time to wash up I spent a good session in meditation before having a half cup of coffee and a piece of baguette with peanut butter and banana. The sky is clear and the forecast is for a decent day, something I am looking forward to. I am surprised at how well I am sleeping even though the bed is too soft and not all that comfortable. I guess being at peace has a lot to do with it. The idea of spending almost all day outside to walk, read, write and even have chats with people while being clothes free gives me an uplifting feeling and makes me smile both inside and out.
Simply being in the sunshine, naked, does so much to settle me down, to force me to look at life with a better mood. It feels as if I have all the world giving me gifts for my healing. At times, I even forget that I have been carrying so much broken pieces around that I call my life, my identity. Sitting here with the sun heating my back as you see in the photo, I sense that this is what I have been waiting for, this is what is the path back to being fully alive and present in the physical realm of living. This is me, nothing hidden, hopeful and filled with positive expectation. I don’t have a clue where I am headed with all of this. I am simply trusting that this is where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to do as the next days, weeks and years unfold in front of me. I have given up trying to call all the shots, given up trying to control life and people around me.
And now, a few words from Moore to say better what I am learning:
“Finally, and this may be the most difficult task of all, give yourself what you need at the deepest level. Care rather than cure. Organize your life to support the process. You are incubating your soul, not living a heroic adventure. Arrange life accordingly. Tone it down. Get what comforts you can, but don’t move against the process. Concentrate, reflect, think, and talk about your situation seriously with trusted friends.” [p. xx]
It is 10:30 and I am at Tim Horton’s where I have begun today’s post. I got my small bit of grocery shopping completed at the grocery store across the road from the coffee shop and will soon be making the last leg to Green Haven shortly. With any luck, I will be on site and nude by noon.
I arrived at noon. Brenda and Gizmo, woman and her dog, were the first I met while walking with the camera taking wildflower photos and site photos. With the sun out, it is beyond exhilarating to be outdoors without a care in the world and without clothing. I have paid my fees for the three nights I will be here. I do wish that I would be here with my wife beside me, but “c’est la vie.” I am hoping that it becomes a reality the next time. If not, the likelihood of her ever joining me at a naturist site becomes very unlikely. That is an eventuality that I hope never arrives.
I got down to reading from Moore’s book, something that I haven’t done since I left Green Haven
“Many people think that the point in life is to solve their problems and be happy. But happiness is a fleeting sensation, and you never get rid of your problems. Your purpose in life may to become more who you are and more engaged with the people and the life around you, to really life your life. That may sound obvious, yet many people spend their time avoiding life. They are afraid to let it flow through them, and so their vitality gets channelled into ambitions, addictions, and preoccupations that don’t give them anything worth having. A dark night may appear, paradoxically, as a way to return to living. It pares life down to its essentials and helps you get a new start.” [p. xiv-xv]
I am at a naturist campground called Green Haven Sun Club. It was my wife’s idea that I check out the place on my way back from an allergy treatment appointment. The place is about four hours from my home. I had rented a tiny camping trailer on the grounds for three days. My wife decided that this would be my retreat centre for my continued efforts of healing. She has seen how I do better when I have time for nudity, especially for nudity and sunshine.
I have been reading Thomas Moore’s book, Dark Nights of the Soul, a quasi-psychological and spiritual look at the journey of healing. I bring this book to attention here because it talks about giving the darkness, the shadow within, some space and presence yet keeping the shadow in check with one’s consciousness. My driving while nude today was, in a major way, defying convention – being naughty – in a way that gives the darkest aspects of myself an outing in safety so that I don’t get into legal trouble or relationship troubles.
Being good is relative; perhaps I was being very good in terms of the healing process. I was taking a calculated risk that someone might become aware that I was nude. There was no risk that they would have seen my nakedness, but that is a different kind of risk, a different level of defiance. Allowing the shadow to appear and then reined in, was an important task for me to take. It takes away the pressure that would build up and likely have me truly do something inappropriate involving nudity in public.