Once upon a youthful eve, when my porcelain skin had only seen twenty-one summers, naked with friends happened. Innocent naked. Not at all sexual, naked (let’s be clear on that right away.)
I’ll never forget the naked of that night, all of us huddled in a combi van on a deserted beach, drunk on Sambuca; passing around stories and laughter, gulping down slightly awkward lungfuls of seaside air.
That night, our skin shone apricot under the moon. We were free. What we were doing was special, we all agreed. And when we did, we promised—we promised—we’d do it again when we were ninety (only God knows why we made such an outlandish long term commitment, but such is the beauty of youth, wouldn’t you say?)
Naked with friends found me again today, and no one could have been more alarmed than me that it was back again. It was 11:00am, and the only beverage I’d consumed since I woke was a large carry mug of coffee, which I downed as I drove to meet my friend at the Japanese hot baths in Collingwood.
This particular friend was my best friend from high school, the one who taught me it was actually possible to make a cake without ‘packet mix’ (cough: don’t judge). She’d seen me laugh. She’d seen me cry. She’d seen me get married, and watched me go from ‘teen’ to ‘adult’ to ‘Mum’.
She had never seen me naked.
I admit to wondering how the awkward of that might go, given I would be sober, and given I really only get my naked out if I’m absolutely in love with someone (or in a van with them getting drunk, apparently). And though I do love this beautiful friend of mine…naked wasn’t in my plan for us.
Until it was.
The old me would have run for the hills at the mention of nude bathing (no really, the actual Sound of Music hills) but since I became a Mum, and even more so since I found the soft girl wandering around in the quiet corners of me… I’m not so afraid of naked anymore.
Today I was naked with friends for the second time in my life. My body was naked, but my heart and my soul were naked, too, and perhaps that was the most beautiful part.
Because when do we ever get the chance to let the wildling within do exactly what it wants to do, without judgment, without limits? More than twice, for me, I hope.
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