Solo Retreat: The Real Makoya
Sunlight. Wind. Water. Plants. Trees. Flowers. Bees. Wasps. Frogs. Dog. Cold. Warm. Hot. Blinding. Joy. Peace. Quiet. Close. Intimate. Free. Dream. Reality. Treasure. Self. God. These are just a couple of words to summarise the weekend of my dreams. Yes, you heard me correctly: weekend of my dreams. I won’t treat you to my backstory, but suffice it to say that I always dreamt of going away in nature on my own.
On Friday, my parents dropped me off at the mountain cottage I rented for the weekend. The cottage is situated at the foot of the mountain and is the last of a series of cottages on a farm. There is a master bedroom that opens up onto a patio which has two sunbathing beds, a small rectangular table with four chairs, another (larger) round table without any chairs, a brick BBQ, a dip pool and an outdoor shower. The patio is completely private. The outdoor shower is located on the side of the cottage and has a view of the valley. The cottage has a master bedroom and two loft rooms one with two beds and the other with one bed. I slept in the master bedroom. There is only one bathroom with two entrance doors: one joins the master bedroom while the other joins the front of the house. The bathroom has a shower, a toilet, a bath, a basin, and rails and hooks for towels. The cottage also had a fully equipped, open plan kitchen with a small dining area and lounge. There was a fireplace too.
Most of the time I was outside on the patio either reading or soaking up the sun nude. Yes, I was naked outside and I didn’t feel any sense of shame, fear, or guilt. The patio was completely private. The mountain was my backyard and no one could see me from any direction as long as I stayed on the patio or close to it. There I sunbathed, skinny dipped, walked around and showered naked. I was free to do it without having to fear arrest or misinterpretation. It wasn’t some counterfeit or fantasy I concocted in my head. It was the real makoya (as they say in Africa), the real deal. I wasn’t naked all the time. My periods of nudity and being clothed were balanced. (Although I was more nude than clothed since I slept that way. I was not naked unnecessarily though.)
I really wanted to photograph the stars on Saturday night but the wind was incredibly strong and would’ve knocked the tripod over. I got very little sleep Friday night because I remembered all the horror movies I had watched during the course of my life. It was pitch black dark outside on Friday night and awfully cold too. Clouds covered the mountain and an icy cold wind blew throughout the night. The wind was warmer on Saturday night though. Daytime was hot although the sun seemed harsher on Sunday morning than on Saturday. I think it’s because I sunbathed such a lot on Sunday.
I mostly read Restoring Your Sexuality Back To Biblical Foundations which I finished by the way. I started on Revive Us Again! on Sunday, although I had read the introduction on Friday night. On Saturday, I also read a sermon on the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16) just to break with the theme. I was in heaven.
As the sun was setting on Saturday afternoon and as I spoke to the Lord while looking over the valley, I couldn’t help but sing this song:
It really captures the essence of the weekend.
I learned a lot of things this weekend about myself and about God, but mostly about God. No amount of words can express what it feels like to have your dream realised: to commune with God in nature; not hear any city sounds; not worry about offending people with your nudity, breaking the moral law, or being arrested; hear the wind rustling the leaves of the trees and plants; see bees, wasps, butterflies, dragonflies, and hummingbirds fertilise plants; feel the wind caress your body, the sun bathe your body in light and warmth; hear only nature’s voice while reading your Bible and pondering life’s complexities. I almost cried for the joy of it all.
My next Solo Retreat will be in 2016. But, I think it will be earlier than that, but definitely not this year. I can’t wait!
Edit: I should add that I was afraid that someone might drop by unannounced to see how I was. I wondered what course of action I would take just in case it was a woman: should I cover up? How do I go about it? What do I say? The only one who saw me naked was the dog and it didn’t bother him one bit.
At night I walked around the house naked (not all the time) with the lights on. I made sure to stay away from the lounge where the owners could see me when naked inside the house. One wouldn’t want to push one’s luck.