sand castles




I can’t tell you the last time I made a sand castle, but I would bet it was at least 20 years ago. At first I thought it would have been when I introduced Shane to Florence. Florence, Oregon. And the Heceta Head Lighthouse and Devil’s Elbow. But on second thought it would likely have been on one of the many endless summer days my two oldest boys spent out in the sandbox at our old house. They literally lived in that sandbox. And we let them run the hose in it so they could build rivers and streams and moats and castles and whatever to their hearts’ content.

And because I was then and still am a kid, I’m sure I took a break now and then from the dishes and laundry to build right along with them. Only, of course to have them washed away or knocked over to be shaped and molded and built back up again. (Kind of like my younger brother R.D.’s mashed potatoes and gravy, shaped and molded and built back up again. Over and over until they ended up on a spoon and into his mouth and down his throat.)

But the first thing when I thought when I saw the prompt was “sand between my toes.” Because that is a thing. And whenever I go within an hour or two of an ocean or sea, I will go to great lengths to make sure I have a few moments to dig in my toes, let the relatively tiny ripple remains of the incoming or outgoing surf wash over my feet and pull the sand between my toes while I inhale deeply of the salt sea air and reming myself I am alive. And I am both big and relative and part of the cosmos, but also tiny and insignificant. And before I was and long after I will be, the water will wash in, turning the sand as the sands of time, and wash back out again. Even. Steady. Never ending.

[Day 145 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]