I lifted this off of a now defunct website, fifteen years ago. I thought it deeply revealing and kept it stored away in a small yellow computer folder, only to rediscover it recently. I also discovered the author.
It describes a first very secret naturist experience, a stealthy sneak out into the English woods. What might be considered a person out of her mind, is the actual discovery of an immersion into a profound perspective of life.
Free range naturism, away from the home, or away from the discrete resort, at first, is daunting. Fear excites. Breaking forbidden barriers may couple with sensual delight. This story expresses that and a woman’s bravery.
I have slipped in a few old archived photos. I hope they do justice to the intended narrative.
Jane’s First Dawn Walk 19th July 2007
The strident beeps of my alarm bring me instantly to full wakefulness. Home alone. This is the day, 3.45 am, the day I will greet the dawn in the forest. I look out, it’s early yet. The twilight has barely begun to spread over the street. I wait a little while and then don dark green cotton jeans, t-shirt and trainers and pick up my little backpack. All was prepared last night. I descend the stairs, check all is well and slip out.
The short drive to the woods is full of nervous anticipation. But this place is familiar to me now and I turn into the car park. No cars, I rejoice. No delay, I glance at the temperature, lock my car, put the keys in my backpack and walk through the forest gate onto the steep path up to the trees.
Up, up along the graveled pathway, my shoes crunching in the silence. Rabbits hop aside. My breathing is labored. Both the hill and the nervous anticipation make the upward journey a labor. I stop and drink some water from my bottle. Better.
I come to a fork in the path and take the route, which I know will lead me into the thicker forest. More minutes pass as I follow the rough track into the trees. The twilight is brightening now as I move deeper into the trees. My path is crossed by rabbit and robin, magpie, rook and thrush as they hop about the leafy floor. My steps sound in the twigs and the reedy branches sigh as I brush by them. The birds, aloft, chuckle and twitter as they greet the gathering light.
Soon I am well into the forest and away from the tracks. My breath is shallow and my chest is tight as I listen, listen and pierce looks through the trees like a grazing deer – on alert. My face and arms catch the soft threads of gossamer that float across the tracks. The morning is damp and my breath shows steamy in the humid, dew-laden air. I reach a little clearing bounded by a fallen tree. A partial track runs nearby, but I see this might be the spot. More tense listening, straining for the sound of an unwelcome other. Nothing.
This is the moment, shoes and two garments off. 4.55 am. Panting and trembling a little from the tension of my alertness, I fold my trousers and take out a pair of shorts to carry in case of need to dress quickly. And then…and then…I am naked, and secret, and alone in the forest, and ready to drink in the sights and senses. I steady myself.
And now I start to feel, to feel. Everything is raw experience now. The sky is pale in the gathering dawn, the air is still and cool, the rough bark of the fallen silver birch I am sitting on stings a little. I stand and begin to walk. My feet sink into the soft leaves and crack little dry twigs underfoot. I feel their moistness between my toes. I feel the air moving by my naked skin. I stop and drink in the caresses of the air on my whole body.
I am walking now, backpack and shorts in hand. I am in a little clearing only a few yards from the fallen birch. And so it happens, I put down my little burden by a tree and walk a few paces away. I am free! My spirit soars; I am in the forest naked and really alone for the first time. Time to stop a moment, to be alert. Yes?
Still alone and all is calm save the ever rustling, sighing treetops. The dawn grows on, the pale light is palpable and the ground is soft and welcoming. I sit down and feel the damp, dead leaves and twigs rising between my buttocks. I hunker down to enjoy their moistness. On the ground I feel the earth closer and the gentle, knobbly cradle of tree roots and soil.
Now my fevered spirit begins to calm. There is no-one else. I am just me, here, now, naked and exposed, sitting and feeling all there is to feel, more than ever before. I get up again and walk a few paces more, without picking up my bag and clothes. Cool but not cold, I calm more and the forest begins to creep into me, beyond my skin. I move to a tree and encircle it with my arms feeling the sharp bark on my body. I hold it tight. I am free! I am a faun amongst the branches, a sprite, a pixie, an elfin soul! This baggy white old body feels as at home as the logs and mushrooms and fallen twigs. I am no longer me – I am, for a moment, a wild creature, content in its haven.
I move to another tree and embrace. Whether in my mind or whether real is irrelevant – we exchange natural energy, affection and earth spirit. Oh, my senses overflow. This is rapture.
But the faun knows danger is always near – let not your guard subside gentle spirit! I go to my pack and look at my watch – 5.05. Can so much flow over me in ten little minutes? My mouth is dry. The calm that has reached my soul has not abated my feral caution. I slake my thirst with the sweet water from my bottle. It is good.
I walk some more, in a circle, never far from my things but a gulf away from those meager survival rations, the trappings of my life beyond the woodland, the light blue of my pack standing out harshly from the browns and greens, and I sit again, cross legged in the leaf mold.
Now I can rest. Tension flows from my body. The sky is brightening; the dark canopy of the leaves has lightened from ocher and deep vermilion to translucent pale green. Gone are the last lowering shades of the passing night and we are in full day and the sunrise of my secret naturism. And I sit and begin to understand and drink in the calm of being amongst nature’s ample and firm boughs, and I feel a welcome guest in my leafy corner of the forest.
I seem to sit for an age in contemplation but another glance at the time tells me it is 5.16 am. A little anxious ripple bestirs the quiet pool of my repose. Maybe it’s time to go. Ah well. Every passing minute risks unwanted encounters. I get out my jeans and stand to put them on. I don’t want to. It’s so hard. I hesitate. I don’t want to; I am where I should be right now. But the sensible habit drives hard. No, please. Yes, it is time, faun. So I reluctantly put on my few clothes, shoulder my pack and, not forgetting to thank the trees and say goodbye to my clearing, I walk the few yards to the track and begin the 15 minutes or so descent to my waiting car.
Clothed, I am not on the ‘qui vive’ and I take a monitor of how I am feeling. Three things. Sad – I didn’t want to stop! Elated – I did my first dawn secret naturism in full control. Happy – at the fulsome and oh, so positive experience I have had.
I reach the main path and look up.
My breath stops at the sight of the new day’s sunlight streaming through the trees. It is amber, the color of dark honey, and I walk off the path to stand in its effulgent warmth. As I reach the outer fringes of the woodland there is a fence with a style and beyond, a field with long grass heavy with dew. My shoes come off again and I walk the rest of the way through the wet, stingingly cold, dewy grass. I am feeling relaxed and… ravenously hungry.
And so, more elated than for many a year I drive home, into the house and strip off again. I make myself some tea and toast and take my breakfast naked outdoors in my secret spot between the house and the garage. How do I eat this simple fare? Why cross legged on a towel on the ground, a posture I never usually take up. Have I changed? Yes I have. I now am understanding and valuing my natural state. How prosaic and constricting the house seems as I move through it to shower, towel dry and sit down to write to you all about my fantastic morning – 8.02am – the day is still all before me, au naturel!
I am on the forum of FreeRangeNaturism.com often, if you would like to converse.
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Fantastic piece, I felt it all with you, remembering just how it all felt.