Ed Heygood headed out for his morning walk in Dinkel Island’s Crabber’s Creek Estates. It was a humid morning with little air stirring at ground level. Not so above him. Strong air currents caused clouds of various hues and densities to form a floating screen, sometimes hiding the sun, sometimes releasing its brilliance. The drama seemed to portray an allegory for life.
A word came into Ed’s mind: “Sunscreen!” As he walked he turned the word over–viewing it upside down, sideways, from the top down, from the ground up. It became for him an alliteration for the way we live our lives. The “sun” is truth, reality, shame, joy, guilt, sorrow–a myriad of labels for what goes on within us, around us, between us and others. When the “sun” gets too bright or too hot, we screen out things we’d rather not see, hear, touch, taste or contemplate: that’s SPS 50! Sometimes we try to substitute hand-hewn realities that make for a better read on things. We camouflage reality with words, images or actions that we expect will make the latest “breaking news” more palatable, or spice it up to our liking. That’s SPS 30. Other times we take in the full spectrum of reality and then shade it off with a bit of spin. That’s SPS10.
How do you start your days? When the latest news breaks about a shooting, terrorism, refugee tragedies, political grandstanding at the voters’ expense–what do you do? How do you process it? What kind of sunscreen do you blow across the face of the sun (reality) in your life?
Later that day Ed told Doc Patcher about his morning musings. “Maybe we don’t need sunscreen at all,” said Doc. “Maybe we’d handle the stuff life throws at us a little better if we resolved whatever’s goin’ on inside ourselves first. Seems to me that would make a huge difference in how we deal with everything else.”
“I think you’ve got something there,” said Ed.