My Relationship with the Sun

by Brooke
(Chesapeake Bay, VA, USA)

I am a beach baby. I was born on the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, and have spent every summer on the beach. We even walk to the beach in colder seasons just to feel the salt spray in our faces and the cold, damp sand under our feet.

My mother always kept us lathered up with sunscreen, but once I grew up, I went in the opposite direction.

I wanted to be tan and glowing all summer long. My friends and I would lay out on the beach with baby oil all over us, just to get as singed as possible.

Now, at 31 years of age, I realize that I made big mistakes during my twenties. I did blister a few times, and have been burned too many times to count.

Now I see freckles all over my arms, shoulders, back, chest, and face. I also notice small lines around my eyes and deeper ones on my forehead.

I also look at one of my younger aunts, a sun worshiper herself, who is now in her 40s. She has wrinkles on her neck, bosom, and face. I know it is caused by the sun.

Today I have a much different opinion of the sun. I do not want to wrinkle early, so I have taken measures to delay the inevitable.

I now wear sunscreen on my face, neck and chest every day, SPF 45. I also make sure to wear sunglasses, especially when I drive, so won’t squint so much.

I still love the beach, and I will never stop enjoying it, but now I just do it a little more responsibly. And I’ve learned there is nothing wrong with pale skin; it’s healthy and beautiful.

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