If I were king, summer would be clothing-optional.

This lovely morning was made even more lovely by enjoying my late spring- summer -early autumn routine: running or ashtanga or lifting followed by a quiet and refreshing skinny-dip in our pool. I live for those brief moments, combing out my hammered body with nothing against me but water and starlight. A few gliding underwater lengths of the pool, hang weightless off the wall in the deep end and then out. Towel off while checking what the Big Dipper is up to or connecting the dots on the constellation Scorpius or not towelling off at all, drying by yesterday's trapped heat, standing amazed and dripping at Mars' recent brightness.

Early in the season I used to let the sun dry me. The boys were still in school and my days off were week days. Vix worked days then. RunningHammer and I would putter around in the yard or in the garage or inside until, just after lunch, yawns overtook him and he would go with light protest down for a nap, and I would go in to the backyard.

We have a high thick hedge and trees along the west property line and a tall wooden fence on the north side. The house spans almost the entire width of the lot, and squashed trees keep the backyard hidden from the street. On the east side there is a low fence to allow for neighborly chatting, but no one was around to peek (and if they did, so what). I'd unfold my beach chair in a secluded but shadeless nook and spread out my towel and take of my clothes.

The sun sizzled in a bright, clear sky, and I'd read or write or paint or water my orchids until sweat poured from me and I'd plunge in to the pool, shimmering prisms playing tic-tac-toe across my skin. Short laps and flip turns. I felt like a seal. Then I'd sit on the side, every whispered breeze welcome. Too soon it would be time to dress and wake the Hammer and pick up the boys and get Slurpees.

With summer now in full attack mode, when clothing should be optional, the only thing remaining from those days are the Slurpees. Vix would love the idea of our own backyard nudist resort, but is worried about the snoops on the other side of the low fence. (Perhaps I need to plant a bamboo hedge.) The boys, who often have to be reminded to put on clothes, could care less, as perhaps we all should.

So for now I'll just savor my routine and grab some sun when I can. This should last until Orion peeks above the trees and my morning runs require a shirt.

A hard run with Mars
Skinny dipping before dawn
Naked all summer