It’s the first Saturday of May again and World Naked Gardening Day!
I have a blank canvas of an urban yard. Decades ago, it was once an arugula field, so the soil is very rich.
I have been used to a natural automatic garden with a rock slope in Tortolita. All I needed to do was to occasionally trim back the overgrowth on the trails there. It was a living ecosystem. This new place in town has no rocks and little native vegetation. I’m looking to make it an edible meditation garden. It all goes hand in hand with the new community sweat, now on the property (Much about that in a later post).
One day last summer, the water was up high at Redington Pass. It was a wonderful day. Freely nude, I was roaming over the rock formations and playing in all of that amazing water. The falls were tall, short, fast and slow, the ponds, shallow and some deep. Each delighted us in a unique way. Some were effervescent. Always it was refreshing and joyful.
Being nude in nature is the more complete experience. I’ll see things that were not seen before, simply by awareness, sight, sound and smell. I feel all around, picking up on the nature of nature. It is one thing to experience this in a back yard, a resort, or around the house, but then a step further and there is that immersion into the rich natural world.
Immersion is to understand that nature plus nudity is naturism. Without coverings, it is quite different to sit, to walk, to contemplate, and spontaneously discover the complexities of the web of life. There is a sense of a gift, when feeling the nuance of the moment through the sensuality of the many ways that nature is reaching out to touch, to accept, to take and to give. There is a naturalist in each of us, if we can walk out in humility and respect, and wonder.
What better way to interact with the divine gifts, than to present ourselves naked. What better way than to surrender to the elements, just as when we entered into life as babes. Our ancient forebearers coexisted and harmonized for millennia before history. We grew out of; we evolved in this mixing bowl, this blessing for us. We are adapted and attached to the natural world in a multitude of ways that living in man-made shelter in man-made garments can’t express to us.
All of these lessons and directions given to us as human beings of this earth, are constantly being expressed, or they are dying in us. Millions of interactions are happening every moment, which we are just not aware of. So much of this is life missed, sacrificed to immediate needs, channeled into a survival mode, replaced by stress, the future, those many plans and the games which lie in conscious thought. To expand consciousness, to be amazed by the wonder that is life and universe, then we must sometimes, or often, need to stop and look and listen and smell and feel and just be.
The direct link, the key, is to drop out of our man made world and visit into what created us. Naturism can be in the complex reality of natural environments and away from the creations of our egos, fears and our self-inflicted stress. The simple harmonious joy is our birthright.
Nature is not just to conquer, to fight, or to master, but to surrender to our true existence, which is our world less characterized by reactions to fears. There is trust and oneness with it.
Take off your clothes and walk down a natural path, feel every step with nothing more than the whole of the blessing that is body, spirit and a sense of being a part of all of the rest. Each and every step can be a wondrous moment. A footstep an amazing savored nibble, or decadent bite out of life.
So, the water was particularly strong at this little rapid. I climbed into the force of it, grasping for purchase, anything that would anchor me, searching blindly under the suds for a grip. At any moment, I would be swept away back downstream. The force of water and Mother Nature is fascinating. A movement of just a few inches would catch me up in a particular current and toss me in a different direction. I fought and I laughed. I felt played with, a child and his mother, nature. She just tussled and gamed me. I was all on her terms, in her arms, immersed in her joy with me.
DF got a call from a friend of ours offering permits for Araviapa Canyon’s west entrance. The four of us, our two non-nudist friends and we two, will now be leaving the following weekend… It didn’t take much deliberation. After all…”Paradise!”
We hadn’t been out backpacking in over a year and not visited the Aravaipa paradise since 2017.
When I contemplate peace, I feel my oneness with all I know and beyond. There is that quiet strength that it gives me. When I see a tranquil lake, a gorgeous sunset, or a mountain stream, smell a familiar scent, or hear the wings of a passing bird, I know that.
A vista, or the array of stars will put within me awareness of my sense of the vast identity that I share, I know that strength. When I feel the air and the sun across my nude body, my feet upon the Earth the energetic or reassuring touch of another, that body knows thanks. I can feel thanks in this body, more than to just think it, or to list it in the mind. The beauty around me and within me, that which I am, is the gratitude and oneness.
Feeling peaceful, I am relaxed and calm. I glow from within and feel serenity in my soul. I breathe easier, remain positive and always feel thanks. I am mindful of my place in the universe and the difference that I make in this world. I am a spiritual being in this body, sharing my unique energy and talents.
I can travel far to grasp the magnificent experiences, or I can walk naked where I am, at any given moment, to realize my being and my peace.
There is inspiration by the beauty of creation to know calm and strength through oneness.
I am truly blessed.
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We were last up on Mt. Lemmon in the spring of 2020. We hiked down to Lemmon pools and explored on through the Wilderness of Rocks. It was early in the Covid lockdown and we got surprised by around 35 other hikers on a trail that rarely saw anyone else. We just had to grin and bare it, having brought no clothing along with us.
The next day, a bolt of lightning hit the mountain range and burned with little control for over a month. Every day, we watched heart broken, looking up to the flames above, from Tucson below, tasting and smelling the smoke. The Forest Service maps reported that a huge area, something like 120,000 acres went up in smoke. Our favorite spots were hit, one by one.
We finally got the gut fortitude to return and assess the damage, as it applies to us on August 27th of 2021. We found there, that the historic extra wet monsoon rains have left the entire region is in hews of green. Trails are getting overgrown. After a year and a half long drought, it is stunning.
We expect much of our forests to be gone, but from the look of things, the desolate aftermath of a forest fire has been replaced by a mass of bush, grass and shrubs. We have heard reports of abundant flowing water!
The hiking trailheads along the road have been closed to hiking, due to the extra year of drought that led to the fire’s fuel.
We begin the 21 mile drive up the Catalina Highway, from 2500 ft. to 9200ft.The saguaro studded lower hills are great, as if nothing had ever happened. I remark that maybe nothing did happen here.
I got an unusual comment on Sycamore Canyon post, today. Someone thought walking alone there, to be boring.
It consequently occurred to me, that I have been writing few stories of solitude, or lone nude walks. During the continuing “Nude Across America” trip, DF and I were glued together nearly 24/7 in a little Honda and our beds. Also, I am now away from my digs in Tortolita and immersed daily in the sounds of the city.
This website was never meant to be a weekly blog, but a repository of stories. It is to guide people into the joys of free range naturism and to share. I created a “Table of Contents” page up at the top to help navigate through all of this. I confess to not having been prompt about keeping up with the content there, but there is plenty.
There is a series there in the “Trip Reports” section of the Table of Contents, “My Private Place for Naturism.” There are 28 episodes, where I am walking nude and alone. These explain the wondrous quality of aloneness. There can be nothing boring.
A walk in nature is with nature. To be nude in nature is to be even closer. You might as well be holding hands with it. To walk freely to where your nose takes you in the moment is adventure in nature.
Alone, one can be more aware in every way, to feel inner reactions and guidance. When with someone else, there can be distraction. The roles of a social self can interfere with the being, just being, or in touch with the authentic self, or to be cast naked in the moment.
I understand what you mean about feeling bored when alone. I have experienced it. It is also important to not get stuck in social contexts and instead, to be alone. There can be nothing boring about being alone in a natural place. If you seek people oriented things, go to where the people are.
DF and I are often alone when we are together hiking, during these reported trips. Then also, we share, too. We lag behind on the trail, we walk off, and we give each other space. We generally don’t talk, but instead we listen in the many ways.
Sycamore Canyon itself? If I were to find myself bored there, I’d leave all of my clothing behind, swim across the river, to walk the tracks. There may be danger to experience. There may just be the feeling of being very much more alive in my own skin.
Sure hope that the video works…there’s a learning curve, becoming proficient.
There are those favorite places in the world. One of those, for me, is in Redington Pass.
When the flow is strong, the stream splits into dozens of channels in the bedrock.
There is a boulder there, large and flat. I can sit with my legs crossed India style. The slight slope makes it more comfortable. There, as the waters cascade down the carved channels toward me, I feel wonderfully alive.
The mist from the turbulence of the falls floats by, across my bare body, chilling just right, as the sun warms my back.
Minerals and tannins create effervescence. The tiny bubbles fizz like root beer, fizzy all over, up into nostrils. I touch the world with the inhale of breath. I smell fresh mineral vapors.
It is like an energy, a presence that flows down. Chinese call it chi, the natural fung shui of it seems evident. I raise my palms and know something unique.
Sound is only the pleasant roar of water flow and the silence in-between. It seems to wash away any thoughts that have nothing to do with where I am right now, here, alone, at one with nature.
In the southwestern New York, we came across an emerald gem. It has a grey bedrock channel through it. In some places it sparkles like tiny diamonds. It’s called Skinny-dip Falls. It’s a canyon gorge with a nude area about a mile long. Some sources say that it is designated, but it appears to speak for itself.
We wake up in our cozy tent, looking out of the net, hungry. That huge mountain rises up above us with its sense of beyond. There is more hidden up there, lots more, eventually there is a National Forest filled with pines and lush life.
Stepping out of our nest is like stepping into adventure. The view is spectacular. The valley is now its normal self, under a big turquoise New Mexico sky. We are on vacation. Breakfast comes, as I tear down the tent. I carefully tuck each component of our campsite in its assigned place in the small car.
The plan was to be out somewhere in the Lincoln National Forest, this morning, somewhere near Capitan, New Mexico. Yesterday, we altered that in a moment and visited White Sands National Monument instead. We then stayed here, just a few miles away.
So, we’re hours from that original goal, in no particular hurry and about to alter our plans again. Like I said, “We’re on vacation,” But what I haven’t said is that this is an open ended trip. We can stay on the road as long as we like. Just that, feels mighty liberating.
I pull out my notes and check our parameters. What can we do today? There is a compelling notion of a hike up a spectacular looking canyon that we have been curiously viewing from our breakfast table.
We are on our first day of our epic road trip. We have been enjoying the threat and turbulence from a storm menacing the Tularosa Valley of New Mexico. We just left my childhood stomping grounds and the White Sands National Monument, but now, we need to find a shelter.
We pass by Holloman Air Force Base and more memories are triggered. Before space was deemed safe for men, it was here that chimpanzees were trained to be sent out into orbit. These earliest astronauts were trained with the positive reinforcement of banana pills. My dad, an Army Lieutenant Colonel had toured the training facility and brought some of the “top secret” pills back home to me. He joked about using them to train me like a monkey. Those pills were absolutely the essence of banana, delicious and I did want more.
Things have changed, this was once the world where Billy the Kid camped out under the stars of the big sky. Today, as we approach Alamogordo, I am searching for the National Weather Service on my smart phone. Do we go for a tent site up in the foothills of the Lincoln National Forest, or hunker down safely in a stuffy motel?
I look to the forecast and the evolving satellite weather map. I look out at the storm across the vast valley from here, ground level. I figure odds are that the storm will pass west and south of the mountain range. We’re feeling hopeful. We drive off to investigate the Oliver Lee Memorial State Park.
After dropping our camping permit papers into a small box, we’re watching rain and storms all across the great valley. We’ll pitch our tent in the evening sun.
There are numerous adobe picnic shelters spaced across this hillside. I find a space under one that is just big enough for the tent. If my weather research is proved wrong, this will be an additional insurance.
As we set up camp and dinner. The sun peeks out from under the clouds and illuminates the massive hillside to our east. It is bright, a sharp golden spectacle. I think of Pizzaro and his army wandering in search of tales of mountains of gold. The natives along the way all concur that there are mountains of gold. His resolve increases and his thirst salivates, but his lust is never quenched on the fool’s errand.
Tularosa bats come by from mountainous shelters for their evening meals. We welcome them and wonder if they may be headed north to Colorado and the cave next to the Orient Land Trust hot springs.
We inspect the car that we started out with. It is coated with fine white powder, spotted like a Dalmatian by the large rain drops that found their way to us in the sandy storm, earlier in the day, at White Sands National Monument. It isn’t a sand blast, but more like flour dust stuck to the metal and paint. Oh, well….