Posted in Books, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Gifts, Life, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Renovations, Spirit, The Body Beautiful, The Joy of Exercise, Walking & Wandering, Winter, Woods

Playing in the sun

Aging gracefully
Aging gracefully

Later that same day, I went to a mirror and looked for a long time, trying to see the timeless glory of crow’s-feet, the resplendence of having survived.  Instead I saw a woman in her early forties who grew up playing all day in the sun.  Who knew?

~ Anne Lamott

Seeds of the future
Seeds of the future

While reading Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith this morning, I arrived at the section with the above quote, and I stopped to think about my own childhood spent playing in the sun.  The quote is not about the joys of playing in the sun, but about the ravages to the face and skin as a result of a childhood spent playing in the sun.  It is another gray and misty day here on the Eastern Shore.  Thinking about playing in the sun brightened it just a little bit.  Besides, I wasn’t looking in a mirror at the time, being hypercritical about my crow’s-feet and other lines and wrinkles.

(You should know, for the record, that Anne Lamott arrives at her own form of acceptance by the end of the chapter, but this post is not about the book.  I’m just using the quote as a prompt for my own thoughts.  Oh, and the photos are from the weekend, taken during the sun’s last visit.)

Beautifully aged
Beautifully aged

I grew up during a time when there were no lectures about skin cancer and damage from the sun.  There were no sunscreen products to protect our young, delicate, and wrinkle-less skin.

A wrinkle in the sun
A wrinkle in the sun

When I do look at my own aging face in the mirror, I have no regrets about all those days I spent outside playing and basking in the sunlight.  I don’t even regret my attempts at tanning (something my skin just does not do).  Did anyone else out there try the baby oil and iodine combination?  I wonder who thought up that kind of stuff?

I enjoyed my days in the sun, climbing trees, learning to whistle, riding my bike, walking around on the stilts my father built, tossing a Frisbee back and forth with a friend, or jumping up and down on a pogo stick.  I enjoyed sitting under or up in a tree reading a book or writing in my diary, the kind with the little lock and key.  I enjoyed pretending to be a character out of a television show or a movie or a book.  During the two weeks in August when my parents hauled us off to the shore, I enjoyed swimming and playing in the ocean, digging in the sand or building sand castles, jumping on the trampolines at the outdoor trampoline place, and hanging out with my cousin or with a friend.  I think what I enjoyed most of all was the freedom of childhood because in those days, we could be free to wander as long as we were home for dinner.

Masking
Masking

I still like to play in the sun (and the rain and the snow and the frost and the fog).  The only time I don’t care for being outdoors is when it’s hot and humid, but I might learn to like that, too.  Someone will likely lecture me for this, but I still don’t wear sunscreen unless I’m at the beach, and I only do it then to prevent sunburn (because it hurts!).  There are other ways to cover up (hats, clothing, etc.).  After reading the Environmental Working Group‘s report on sunscreens, I’m not sure it’s worth it or safe to use some of them.  But that’s another subject for another time.

Sunshine grazing in the grass
Sunshine grazing in the grass

In other news…

The construction on the addition continues.  John has been working hard.  Remember when I mentioned I thought the work was going fast?  Well, it’s slowed down now and although John is putting in long hours every day except weekends, the work is approaching the speed of molasses in January.  It’s beginning to feel as if it’s gone on forever.  There is a lack of privacy when John is here which can’t be helped since he’s working in the house now.  There is also a lack of freedom for me because someone needs to be here to answer questions.  I do still go out on walks, but usually stay nearby or check in once in a while.

Meadow scene
Meadow scene

I reckon that’s it for this gray and dreary Wednesday.  I hear they got ice north of us, and that the power is out in parts of Baltimore.  Looks like the Akron-Cleveland area back in Ohio got some ice on top of snow, and even Columbus (Ohio) is having a snow day because they received over 10 inches of the white stuff.  I miss the snow, but feel lucky that we weren’t on the freezing end of the rain.

Sundog and snow geese
Sundog and snow geese.  (A collage edited in Photoshop & Picasa)

Thank you for dropping in.  I hope ya’all have had a wonderful Wednesday.  Hello and welcome to all my new visitors and subscribers.

I thought this was a flock of starlings until they took off and I caught all those flashes of red.  Now I know where the Red-Winged Blackbirds spend the winter.
I thought this was a flock of starlings until they took off and I caught all those flashes of red. Now I know where the Red-Winged Blackbirds spend the winter.  (You might have to click on this one to see the red of their wings.)

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Flight of the Red-Winged Blackbirds
Flight of the Red-Winged Blackbirds
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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

30 thoughts on “Playing in the sun

  1. Baby oil and iodine – oh yes, I remember! Laying out in the sun, swimming, taking the boat out, just us kids. No fear. Those were the days, they really were.
    What is it about the red-wings? They always come in hoards. We get them for spring and fall migrations, and they’re soon joined by the yellow-headed blackbirds.

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    1. This is the first time I’ve ever seen so many Red-Winged Blackbirds flocked together, Carol. I’m used to seeing them one at a time when they show up in the spring.

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  2. I, too, loved to play in the sun as a kid–though I avoid it now–especially here on the equator. It’s especially wicked at this elevation. However, we have little humidity, so that helps.

    Sorry to hear work on the addition has slowed down.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

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  3. I’ve heard of using baby oil as sun screen Robin, but not with iodine. Wouldn’t that turn your skin a funny colour without the help of the sun? I don’t use sunscreen either. It makes your skin all sticky and awful, so I do as you do when I’m in the garden, wear a hat, and after living in Australia for my entire life, I can tell by the feel of the sun how fast it will burn. I have mixed feelings about aging; whilst I see wrinkles and graying hair on the outside, I feel a certain amount of wisdom and a whole lot of calm on the inside (which I didn’t feel in youth!) which just goes to show, we can never have it all. But that’s life, and I like the age I am at right now. 🙂

    As always, your photos are wonderful. 🙂

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    1. Same here, CM. I really should see a dermatologist someday since I’m so fair skinned and spent my summers burning to a crisp when I was a child. I don’t know how many times I had sun poisoning. A lot. Ah well. I did have fun, and that’s what counts. 🙂

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  4. love the photos Robin, your new camera? In Australia we grew up without sunhats too, we have the most ravaged skin from our harsh sunny climate, but children now are usually protected …. most schools have a ‘no hat no play’ policy … and I have recently found a moisturiser with SPF 30 that is comfortable and easy to wear, otherwise I was like you, only sunscreen at the beach … enjoy your misty moisty weather! Can you tell me about sundogs? love it!

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    1. Thank you, Christine. Yes, these are from the new camera. I’ve been switching back and forth because of the weather. The new camera is more sensitive to cold and wind. Sundogs are also called Parhelia or Mock Suns, and they’re formed the same way halos and sun pillars are formed — by ice crystals in the clouds. There are almost always two of them, one on either side of the sun.

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  5. I too never wear sunscreen, Robin, but the difference I suppose is that here we’re probably more in danger of rusting in the rain more than living the effects of too much sun. I’m not underestimating or taking lightly the power of any sun tho’, but I still cope without, as I don’t worship the sun as some do, and cover up as much as possible. Re-reading this I sound like a vampire, dark and dismal, moving from one shadowy spot to another. Until, as always happen, the suns hot fingers light on my body and I flame up like the Phoenix. Yikes, train of thought is strange sometimes eh? anywho, I hope that the progress at the house speeds up a pace for you. From this English vampire to you, able to enjoy t’sun 🙂 Happy New trails xPenx

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  6. Robin, I’m falling in love with the Eastern Shore through your photos. What a healthy flock of red wings! Yes, I did the baby oil and iodine “tanning lotion” too. “Sunscreen” wasn’t in my vocabulary. I wanted the Hawaiian Tropic tan, but on a school girl’s budget. Baby oil did the trick, as my friends and I lay out in our back yards tanning and playing in the lawn sprinkler. What fun we had! WG

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  7. Oh, the joys of sunshine… I LOVED bikes, stilts, pogo sticks, reading books under trees and writing in my own locking diary…what a joy that was! (and yup…me too…baby oil and iodine…) I still do love sunshine! btw…I got the Anne Lamott book, as an ebook, after reading what you had written about it, and am wondering what insights I might get…time will tell?

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  8. Ahhh, to be a child again…. and it’s good to be out in the sun, it’s good to be outside!! My teenager spends all her time in her room, reading or drawing (something she could do outside). At least my 10-year-old still likes to get outside.

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  9. I sometimes worry that my face will look 80 before I turn 40, especially with long summers spent in the sun (and right by the water) at the Harbour. Still. I’d rather spend that time in the sun being joyful than I would be cooped up inside or fretting severely about a single ray of sunshine touching my skin. (The partner of our coworker comes to visit the Harbour every now and then, but she sits in a shady corner, underneath an umbrella, wearing long sleeves, pants, a wide-brim hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, AND gloves. Makes me wonder what the point of coming outside even is…)

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    1. I know someone who dresses like that when she goes out, Dana, and have wondered the same thing. Then I got to thinking that maybe she has had skin cancer, or at least a scare in that regard, and I think I might cover up too, if that were the case.

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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