As my last post indicated, we had been camping at Green Haven Sun Club. What it didn’t mention was that I had left home to go there while in a depressive state. I needed to have healing time, something that comes to me largely through sunshine, quietness, and nudity. I guess the best way to describe it is a mixture of alchemy and air. The sun acts like a cooking flame to reduce the rigidity of the psyche, to make it more malleable. The air acts as a coolant to help temper the psyche, ensuring that the “self” is strong enough to handle stressors. Regardless of the psychological mechanics, going skyclad works and I slip out of depression back into being a more positive and energised man. I know that doesn’t work for everyone, so I don’t exactly recommend it for therapy – at least not overtly.
At the campgrounds, I get to see quite a few people, and with my background in depth psychology, I think I have a bit of insight into the general mental states of those I meet. There are a few couples, older than us, who seem to be generally happy with their lives. typically it is the male partner who is most comfortable with being nude. Their female partners are comfortable, but a bit discrete in their nudity – reclining with legs open like their husbands is not a preferred position. There is no hiding, but there also isn’t a sense that they are fully comfortable.
There are a fair number of recombined relationships among the rest of the couples, people on their second or third marriages. The men are somehow quieter than the women, less overt. Alcohol plays a larger role and with it I sense a large cover-up that tries to deny any insecurity, a bravado that says. “we’ve got our shit together and could care less about who sees what!”
A few of European backgrounds move and present themselves with confidence as though being nude is not a factor to be thought of or overcome in the sense of identity. A family from England with their two daughters, a farmer and his wife from Belgium who have made their home in Canada for more than forty years are a couple of examples.
Then there are the single people who span from the age of seventy-five to early thirties including men and women. There is a sense of broken edges which might stem from issues of relationships to issues of physical health.
Regardless of all of this, there is an openness and a willingness to come together into a community with rare exceptions. As in every community, there are the outliers who are present but dissociated, people who do their own thing with little regard for the presence of others. The women are prone to use a wrap when in doubt. The men are less anxious, but are often seen with a housecoat or some sort of safety blanket near at hand.
From where I sit, I wonder what it was that brought them to a nudist campground in conservative country where nudity is almost a greater sin than any other law or moral code. What was broken in them that had them forsake the belief system of their families of origin. Conversations with almost all reveal that their nudity is kept secret or very silent from others in their lives. Life in the campground is definitely an alter-life, even for those who live there year round.