Today’s Prompt: Write about a time you were burned.
Stared at the screen for five minutes trying to decide if I wanted to write about being physically burned or burned in that other emotional sense. Decided on the physical sense.
Mama always says Don’t forget the sunscreen. She means it literally because our skin is so, so fair. But she means it in a more figurative sense. Be prepared. Bring what you need. When I went to Nicaragua in college for a work trip, I’m certain I brought sunscreen. Problem is, I didn’t expect the van to break down. (Maybe it was a bus, don’t remember).
I remember sitting on the side of the road feeling the sun on my bare shoulders knowing that it was burning me. I remember looking around and there being absolutely no shade. No trees. No structures. Just open air. In retrospect I wonder why I didn’t get back in the vehicle for shade, but maybe I couldn’t. I don’t remember.
What I do remember is how much worse the burn was than I thought. It wasn’t just red, it blistered. I was burned on an oven in college, too, and burned from putting my foot on the edge of a campfire ring, and this was worse than both of those. I couldn’t sleep. Didn’t want to shower. Couldn’t decide the next day whether to wear a sleeveless shirt and expose myself to more sun (how could I put sunscreen on the blisters?) or endure the pain of having a shirt on my shoulders. Can’t remember what I chose.
I’m not sure what lessons there are in this story, I’m just following the “rules” I made for myself and writing about the topic at hand. I’m almost out of time. I will say this: never, ever, have I been sunburned so badly as I was on that day. I think it was that awful burn, not mama’s reminding, that causes me to never forget the sunscreen now.
This post is a part of the 25 days of advent writing and photos that I’m doing with my church Northwood Presbyterian Church, San Antonio. For the writing portion, I’ve just set a timer for 20-30 minutes and whatever I have at the end of the time, I post. No editing past the time limit… no worries if there are errors or if I stare at the screen for the first 15 minutes. Giving it a try.