One of my goals is to create a new culture around sun loving. The sun, provider of light and warmth, has been worshiped forever. Life itself would not exist without the sun. I am not promoting that we become vampires, no, no, no! Let’s use our #sunsmarts!
I grew up with no regard to the power of the sun, the potential for life threatening disease. We were the generation that actually had the time to relax at the beach versus earlier generations that worked long hours. We sought the sun versus shade and craved that Coppertone tan (remember their illustration of a child with a white butt in contrast to the glorious tan?). Sunscreen, what was that?
Sunshine on the Water Looks So Lovely (John Denver)
As a child, I was given one of my father’s white Navy hats to wear; it never covered any of my face but I sure looked cute! My nose peeled and off to the beach we went again. Cover ups were for foggy or dreary days when we turned bluest of blue, before admitting it was time to get out of the water. Yes, we were an East coast, sea loving family and when, as Navy brats we moved to Minnesota, we were loving those 10,000 lakes. Vacation ALWAYS meant water, fishing, and boating. Weekends , too, were about being on or near the water. If not, we were surely outside. Remember the freedom with the parental guide of “be home when the street lights come on”?
As we grew, my older sisters loved to use something to lighten their hair. I want to call it “Sun In”? We were envious of each other’s tans, talked of best sunburn remedies, and were sure that we looked best with our deep summer skin color. I would joke that my career would be beach chair tester.
Your Sun History
Space.com offers facts about the sun’s history but what about your personal sun history? For me, sand buckets of wonderful memories come to mind; whether beaching, boating or (sun) bathing our family loved this time together. It was the start of a life time of sun worship and I never would have thought skin cancer would effect me. Or you either…what are your sun traditions? The first step to change is to consider this question.
Did you know that melanoma can have a long history in your body? You may have damaged your skin as a child or it may have happened last year. Those damaged cells sit in-wait. Determining what is the catalyst to activate that killer cancer is one of many melanoma mysteries.
Like A Red Rubber Ball (Paul Simon)
I sit here watching the sunset over the ocean (yes, I live across the road from the Atlantic). The beauty of the sun is breathtaking…oh, that is so not the right wording for melanoma patients. Sun worship is deeply ingrained in our culture from beautiful days to lovely sunsets, from growing our food to keep our seasons revolving.
Let’s learn to admire the sun from afar, appreciate all that solar power, and create a culture where people worship their health more than their tan. That’s not easy if your life has been about being outdoors. The sun is here to stay, so it’s more about teaching others and teaching ourselves, too.
What are you changing to be safe in the sun? I’d love to hear from you! #melanomatheskinwerein #melanoma #sunsmarts
We can-cer vive!