TREADING LIGHTLY UPON THE EARTH
I tread most lightly on the Earth
when, naked as on day of birth,
I walk on the sands of a beach
that is to clothed folk out of reach.
The sand is soft beneath my feet,
and hot where tide has yet to meet.
The sun shines agreeably warm
upon my full bare bodied form.
Battles of life I leave behind,
a peace with the Earth I do find.
Like arms and armour I have laid
down my kit (in bag in the shade)
to proclaim that I come in peace.
Contest with elements I cease;
to nature's hands I give myself,
thankful for my fitness and health.
regardless of my age or youth.
I also live out sacred truth:
that to the world we bring nothing
and from it nothing in taking.*
I glimpse a sense of harmony
man with nature had formerly -
before from God's grace first folk fell,
ashamed to be au naturel
and felt the need to sew fig leaves
together to make the first briefs.
Before I baptize in the sea,
to fully immerse my body
I sense all stresses wash away
as mind takes in the sounds of bay
coming from broad oncoming tide
while I scan the horizon wide.
I let its rhythm relax me
as tide flows in increasingly.
That first time into sea I wade,
when jar of cold shock does pervade.
I stand, give time to meet full way
temperatures of body, bay,
step forward gradually
till I am up to neck in sea,
from point where I'm at enough depth
to jump off ground, kick, yet keep breath.
not defying but using tide
to help me move to waterside
I exercise my repertoire
of swimming styles, not straying far,
then crawl my way back to the sand,
to pick myself up as I land.
When out of the water I get,
I feel as if I've had reset,
a sense like being born again
as down myself the sea drips-drain.
I smile at my companion
who has opted to bathe in sun.
She sets towel as my groundsheet,
in time for my arriving feet.
I let the sun's rays dry me off
as I rest by her in the buff,
encourage her to give a try
of skinny-dipping as I dry.
"We bring nothing into the world and we take nothing out."