We are not ON the earth, we are OF the earth.
Without this planet we would not exist, the same way that a baby would not exist without a mother. But just like a baby grows into an adult that eventually stands up and walks away, believing it is separate from its mother, believing that it is different ... sometimes even believing it is superior to what it came from ... so too have we lost the memory of our connection with the earth and the elements. Like the country boy who who leaves his small town past for the big city, we deny where - and what - we come from. We believe we are the brain that we have filled with knowledge, not the soft and gentle baby born of common farm stock. The thought of our past almost revolts us, even though it is us.
The only language the body speaks is the feeling of itself. So this is the language we must speak if we want to reconnect with ourselves: feeling and sensation.
So, too, our bodies. We have rejected the place of our birth in favor of our ambitions. We not sweaty animals, we are aspiring architects.
But something even bigger is lost when we don't stop and pause and consider this---
WAIT. Did you notice the misstep right there? Even I still make the mistake: I said we should ponder this, which means I just suggested we use our minds to consider our bodies. Oops. That is not the way back. It can't be.
The body does not know the fancy language of the mind. It only knows what it feels. The only language the body speaks is the feeling of itself. So this is the language we must speak if we want to reconnect with ourselves: feeling and sensation.
Being naked in nature is a curious thing: we are immediately assaulted by a barrage of thoughts about what we are doing: who might see us, who is judging us, why are we doing this, no else else does this, what kind of a person does this, etc., etc., etc. Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts. But this is only the mind afraid to return home, because it might actually have to face its origins. It might be forced to think less of itself, if you will.
But nature is the body's home turf and eventually the language of the body will win out over the mind: you start to feel the sun on your skin, the wind on your shoulders, the smell of beach salt, or pine needles, or wildflowers, the feel of your feet sinking into the moist mulchy earth.
And then something curious happens. The thoughts evaporate like morning mist. You start to feel like you.
It's only through feeling our bodies that we reconnect with the other half of ourselves: through massage, or sex, or sauna ... through lying naked in the sun at a nude beach, or hiking wooded trails in the open alpine air, or swimming naked in the sea.
And in those moments, we return to the place of our birth: the place where everything is wet and wild and messy. We return to what we are, our bodies. We return to our elemental self.
OK, good enough for now.
BUT, before I go ... always be sure the places you choose to be out in nature are safe locations to be nude. Do your research. Use your mind to aid in this safe return to your body.
~ Quest Barely (but safely), everyone!
Kemson Cooper is the creator of QuestBarely.com, a site about using the body as a path to explore the Self. He is also the author / artist of "Love Yourself ~ A Body of Work" (hailed by at least a few as the world's first naked self-empowerment book) & "The Bird Who Had No Clue" (a sweet little illustrated tale about life, for all ages).