Thursday, September 08, 2005

Rebellion and Surprise

It began as rebellion. I had pastored for twenty years and had grown to resent the oppressive atmosphere that was created by capricious expectations. I vowed that if I was ever near a nude beach I would stop; not to gawk, find fault or belittle sun bathers but to spend a few minutes nude as a rebellious act. It would be an act that shouts "It's my life. I want to live it my way, according to my values and not other peoples' expectations." Howvever, the likelihood of finding a nude beach in Kentucky or Tennessee made it a lifeless vow for some future that may not sprout and grow.

Death Valley is my favorite national park. We had stopped at the top of a single lane road that descended six miles to the valley below. A sign with a skull and cross bones warned that the road was not maintained and should be attempted only by experienced dirvers with high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicles. As we had lunch and discussed our options, a vehicle popped over the rise. The Canadian couple told us about an oasis about twenty-five miles away. Interestingly, the oasis was clothing-optional. Wow! An oasis in the middle of the desert! We had to see this. I never gave much thought to the potential nudity.

With verbal directions we finished lunch and started down the road to find this unexpected treasure. Mature palms, lush green grass, mutiple pools of hot water and some exotic landscaping made it a true paradise. We camped near the oasis. During the night I experienced a first. Never before had I been able to camp without hearing at least the faint sound of an airplane in the distance. The only disturbance during the night was a visiting wild burro.

Because of Death Valley's limited opportunities and limited hours for bathing, we had not had a shower for a couple days. Now we had a choice of two showers! One was an old cast iron tub sunken to ground level with natural paving stones that formed the walk through the oasis. The walls were the palm trees of the bath and the sky the roof. Water from the hot spring was piped though a shower head and flowed out the bottom of the tub to irrigate a portion of the grass.

My wife and I took the attitude "To heck with the pedestrians walking by. It's a shower. A warm water shower!" The next morning we had breakfast and spent a few moments in one of the three tubs in the main oasis. As we were preparing to leave and tackle fifty miles of unpaved roads, a man asked if I was the driver of the Lexus. Me? A Lexus! Did I look like the kind of person who would drive a Lexus? Well, I guess it's a little difficult to tell what kind of car a person drives without the usual clues that clothes provide.

I was on a high for two weeks after this trip in part because of the nude experience. I hadn't expected this. Naturally I enjoyed the feel of the water, sun and breeze on my nude body. I definitely enjoyed the freedom that came from others who let me be me. But, one unexpected reaction was the pleasure that comes from meeting someone without prejudice or bias. A nude person provides few clues as to educational level, financial assets or profession. I loved that experience and contemplated it's value for days to come.

Since that first experience, we've visited other hot springs and a few resorts. We've joined a resort close to our residence and visit about once a month.

Am I a nudist? I don't know. I do know that labels are dangerous. I also know that social nudity gives me a sense of peace. It just seems right -- a reprieve from the commercialism and vanity of much of the world. I'm convinced that nudism is a positive and healty thing for children, adults and families. I've told my grown children about my experiences and I've met others at our resort who are co-works at my university. Surprise! See you Monday at work!

Am I lucky or fortunate? Definitely. My wife is as enthusiastic as I am. She's truly half of me. Sharing these experiences with her makes life immensely better. I feel a sense of sadness when I read about men whose wives don't understand or don't have the self-esteem or sense of sharing or, for whatever reason, do not join their husbands.

It amuses me that my rebellion got me into this but it's not what causes me to continue. The rebellion is still there. I want to enter a nude race. I'll probably come in last or close to last but that's not important. What's important is to be able to look back on life and say to myself "It was fun. I did it. My only regret is I didn't start sooner."


Blogger Paul said...

Ok, Daniel, so you disapprove. No problem here because I didn't expect approval nor do I need it. I am curious as to why you read blogs if you hate them. I deleted your post because of it's tone and it use of profanity.

9/08/2005 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger George Breed said...

Nekkid we came into this world and nekkid we shall leave. Being nekkid in between is a spiritual practice as well as a physical one.

Thank you for your rebelliousness!

9/10/2005 02:38:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

I posted the top comment late one night just before going to bed. I have now posted a more appropriate response here.

9/28/2005 09:10:00 PM  

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