Michelle slipped into the pond and felt the tingle of the cool water on her naked body. It had taken three hours of rough hiking for Michelle to get to her secret place in the woods.
Michelle had found it by accident at the beginning of the summer, when she had gone off-trail in search of rare plants. The hikes were part of the research for her PhD dissertation in Botany. Her dissertation had the unexciting title “The encroachment of invasive species on the natural ecosystem of upstate New York and the negative impact on the water supply to New York City”
“It’s a little dry Michelle,” Dr. Coelho had said. “You have statistics and graphs, but you need to really feel the subject. To be a real botanist you have to understand that these plants are alive and vulnerable. You have to be in touch with them and love them. You have to be willing to be naked and vulnerable in the woods like they are.”
Michelle was both insulted and alarmed. She did not like Dr. Coelho’s talk about being naked. Was this the stodgy old Professor’s attempt to seduce his young student? Yuck!
The day after Dr. Coelho’s lecture, Michelle went further upstate and further into the woods than she had ever been before. She had her thick jeans and heavy hiking boots on. Strapped to her was the large and heavy backpack with the vials for the plant and water samples she would take.
By the time Michelle happened upon the pond, she was exhausted, hot and sweaty. She put down her backpack and lay on the warm dirt next to the pond. She let her hand dangle in the water, and the pond felt cool and tempting.
Looking around to see that she was entirely alone, Michelle made an impulsive decision.
“Well, if he wants me naked that’s what he is going to get, “she said out loud
Michelle took off her dusty boots and socks; her jeans her flannel shirt and stood there wearing nothing but her bra and panties. She was about to dive in wearing those, but then decided she did not want to be hiking home in a soggy bra and panties. She slipped them off, hung them on a tree branch and stood in the woods completely nude.
As she stood there naked, she was suddenly afraid at how vulnerable she was. Michelle was not large or muscular and had no weapons. She was small and soft and had no real way to defend herself against anything that choose to attack her. “Like the plants,” she thought.
Michelle almost put her clothing back on, but the cool water looked too inviting for her to chicken out now. She slipped into the pond and felt the wonderful sensation of it enveloping her. It was as if she was the only person in the world.
She stood naked in the water and rested her hands on a tree branch that was just above her head. Her breasts peaked out of the water and the Sun felt warm on them while the cool water played around her thighs and between her legs.
Michelle stayed that way for a long time, in an almost trance-like meditative state.
After that first time, Michelle came back to her secret spot every week. Her PhD dissertation progressed throughout the Summer, and Dr. Coelho was very pleased with the results. She never told him about her naked visits to the pond. She never told anyone. Somehow that would spoil it.
Finally, Fall came and it got too cold to go into the water. Winter came, and Michelle continued to visit the pond each week. The pond froze, some plants died and the trees went into their long nap.
But Michelle knew that when Summer returned she would be back. Naked and soft and vulnerable, yet somehow unafraid of the harsh World beyond the woods.