November 08, 2017

The naked splashing woman


Every fall, I join women friends for a weekend retreat in the mountains. We bring food, and books, and stories about our lives. We dance by the fire, give each other massages, and hike through gorgeous fall foliage. This year was no different. The lovely lodge where we stayed, with it's floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a mountain lake, was filled with conversation and laughter.

But it was a somber weekend too. We're all in our 50s and 60s. We've all been through difficult life experiences. Many of us have aging parents that we help care for. Some of us have been through divorce or difficult break-ups. We've lost siblings and friends. None of us are untouched by death or heartbreak. We're a group of friends who confide in each other, who listen to each other's stories, and we talk as we eat or walk or sit by the fire.

None of us have advice for each other. We know there is nothing we can say. But just telling stories and knowing that your friends are listening: that has value. By Sunday, we were all feeling lighter, happier, and more at peace. Sharing burdens has that effect.

And the weather was in our favor. The sun shone down as if it were July rather than October. Few of us thought to bring bathing suits, but that didn't matter. Skinny dipping is our tradition, after all. As we left the lodge, bringing towels with us, I grabbed my camera.

"This will be the perfect setting for a naked photo shoot," I said. 
Dancing Woman shrugged, "I'm in."

There were a few motorboats on the lake, but I assured Dancing Woman that they were far away. She stripped off her clothes and waded into the water. "Splash !" I yelled to her. I stepped in the lake too, up to my knees, in order to keep the sun behind me.

Dancing Woman splashed, tentatively at first, and then in bigger and bigger splashes of water. Pretty soon, she was playing in the lake the way a child would, getting everything around her wet. Any self-consciousness disappeared as she danced along, spraying lake drops into the sky, so that it fell onto her hair, her bare arms, her whole body.

She kept going long after I was done taking my photo.

Read more about the history of the naked blogging project and check out the gallery of photos.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful shot, beautiful woman. One of the best yet.


rgl said...

The water, the source of life, the depths of the unconscious, absolutely feminine. Water mixing with air, the stuff of consciousness. You captured it all. Thank you.

Jeff said...

Wonderful. I like the child-like innocence your words and image convey.

Martha Spong said...

I'm glad you have that weekend. What a gift.

Elephant's Child said...

Your description and the image gave me much needed heart-balm today. Thank you and the dancing, splashing woman. A lot.

Far Side of Fifty said...

beautiful! Sounds like a good retreat for you to recharge:)

Rummuser said...

An amazing photograph.

Cindy said...

I love it!

caruanascott said...

don't ever end this project.

Sandy said...

What a gorgeous shot. Just lovely.

robin andrea said...

Another beautiful naked moment. Love this.