Sunday, 29 January 2017

Celtic Skin

10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Word of God with a prayerful heart.
By Susanne Timpani  (No. 227)


'The sun has played havoc on your Celtic skin.' Dr Raju tilted her head.
I'd never considered myself a member of the Celtic clan before. For a moment I felt I had been plucked from their midst and deposited into my current, sunburnt, country.

'The cream will irritate, redden, wrinkle, blotch and burn your skin,' she muttered as her hand swept across her script pad, 'but it will halt the changes to your cells and prevent skin cancer.'

She pulled the page off the pad and swung around to face me. 'Twice a day for four weeks and I'll review in three months.'

I push through the glass door and the sun blinds me. Celtic skin. Hazel eyes. I fossick around in my handbag, and retrieve eye protection. Fabulously designed to filter out UV, wrap around the sides of the eyes and fit over prescription glasses. If only I had discovered these decades ago.

Celtic skin. Well suited to the grey, protective clouds of the British Isles.
I slide my freckled, wrinkled hands into my fingerless gloves and shove on my wide brim hat.

In 1969, along with another 80,000 immigrants from the UK, our family responded to TV ads promising days of endless sunshine in Australia. Missing from the Ads, and the dictionary, were terms such as basal cell carcinoma, ultra-violet rays and SP Factor 30 +. Perhaps we wouldn’t have splashed baby oil on our backs and cooked ourselves on the beach. We thought calamine lotion would fix it all.

I had travelled to the farthest limits of the sea, but even here He had guided me, protecting me in His right hand. The skin condition I had developed can turn into cancer. Dr Raju's ointment promises healing and I thank God His hand guided me to seek her out. 

  
If I take the wings of the morning
    and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me fast.