The weather really took a turn this weekend. I know we'll still get another heat wave before Fall arrives officially. I haven't harvested nearly enough tomatoes for this to actually be the end of summer weather. But today, I actually had to wear a sweatshirt.....all day. That's unsual.
For some, it would also be unusual to see a woman riding her bike down the street....completely naked. But not for us. You see, in our town, we have Naked Girl.
Naked girl moved here a few months back. Seems she feels very strongly about her right to be naked whenever and wherever she choses. Our town has some relatively relaxed nudity laws (breasts are fine, genitals are not), and she has come to relax those laws even further.
Some folks get all bent out of shape when they see Naked Girl, riding around in her birthday suit. Motorists honk, and holler, and wave, and shake their fists. I kinda think that's the response she's going for.
At the bus stop one day, an elderly woman went on and on to me about how careful we all had to be now that Naked Girl was around. "You just never know when she'll appear. How dare she! Next thing you know she'll be going to bed with men....right there on the street!" The woman glanced at my three children with a scowl. "How dare she!" Funny how a naked body equals "going to bed" in our part of the world.
Another time, while riding the bus, another rider shared her disapproval with me as Naked Girl passed us in the bike lane. "I mean, I don't mind so much. It really doesn't matter to me if she wants to be naked. I'm just sorry for you," she nodded toward my kids, and lowered her voice to a whisper. "At least I don't have to protect my children from her!"
The thought of protecting my children from Naked Girl never even entered my mind. I can think of a whole bunch of things I'd like to protect my children from, and nakedness is not one of them.
Violence, war, famine, disease, greasy fast food, drugs, sure...but nakedness? Really?
Now don't get me wrong, I can think of a lot of other things I'd rather do than ride my bicycle naked (ouchie). Especially on a chilly day. But, hey, to each his own. Today, Naked Girl was on roller blades, and a friend rode the bike with the trailer holding the sign proclaiming "We're Naked!! Just like God made us!" Her friend's tan lines revealed her inexperience.
As I rode to the library, I passed them. Then they passed me. Then I passed them. Then, at the red light, Naked Girl nearly knocked me off my bike trying to stop on her blades. She looked cold. But happy.
I'm guessing that living life without school might have something to do with our lack of freak out energy toward public nudity. I suppose that the more time one spends in an environment where you always have to wear shoes, let alone clothes, the less comfortable one might be with a glimpse of the human body.....au natural. Ah well. In the meantime, I'm going to give up a little more gratitude that we've chosen a different way.
Be naked. Or not. But do ride your bike as often as possible. It's good for you, and good for the planet.