Across the Board – June

It is mid-April as I write this column for the AANR’s June Bulletin. We are all staying at home. I have no idea what the situation will be when you are reading this column. I know that it will be different for all of us than it was just a short year ago. I hope we will be able to be gathered together and we will be able to celebrate Nude Recreation Week in ways we know and love. However, I don’t know if we will be skinny dipping in our club’s pools and at the beaches or in our bathtubs. Will we be sharing in potlucks or video conferencing while we eat? Will we be competing in 5K runs or doing nude yoga in our living rooms? What is most important is that we are being safe. We will be back together. If not now or in early July, then eventually. When we are back together, we will be able to embrace each other with joy and gratitude. And we will not take it for granted.
The nudist community is my community.
Community is seen in the friendships that we make among other nudists. I find that nudists tend to be more open and honest about who they are. We are willing to discuss serious topics and reveal our feelings much more quickly than in other settings. Being naked in public shows that you are willing to risk being vulnerable. That’s why, when I moved across the country and needed a new circle of friends, I was able to find new friends in nudist groups.
Community is also seen in our activities. When we come together, we dance, we eat, we run, we play games. We rejoice in gathering at our clubs and on the beaches. We hike together. We socialize.
Community stands together to tell the rest of the world that we are wholesome, caring individuals. We stand together when any one of us is threatened. Hundreds of us gather for World Naked Bike Rides. We gladly pose for art installations. It is much easier to stand as a group of 30,000 people than to stand alone. As a group, we work with legislators at all levels to understand who we are and what we need.
From now on, let us always remember to appreciate being together, to being able to hear and see smiles and laughs. Let us celebrate our community. If we are not yet able to gather together (or even if we can), let us find other ways to stay in community. Pick up your phone and call someone. Call your best friend. Call your family. Call your elderly neighbor. During the time of crisis, we learned to use technology to meet with people that are across the country. Continue to stay in touch via the internet. Screen time isn’t inherently bad. It can just be another way to communicate. Be creative. How can you have community?

Posted by karenlahey

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