Monday, August 19, 2013

An Ocean of Stories: Side by Side


I suppose in many ways it was a silly dream. One that seemed to have no purpose other than just fancy. Just whimsy. Just wistful thinking. But I dreamed it anyway. Just one of those tucked away little things. But it was my silly, whimsical and wistful dream. 

Our second day at the beach we spent the entire day there. From early in the morning until the evening. We left only to grab lunch and rehydrate and refuel.

As I walked onto the beach that day I expressed this little hope dream. Just said it right out loud. Nothing earth-shattering. Nothing truly profound. Nothing overly exciting.

“I want to build a sand castle,” 

Steve looked at me. “What kind of sand castle do you want to build?” 

“A big one!”

He laughed. No, he did not laugh at me, but with the laugh that indulges all my idiosyncrasies, the laugh that says he enjoys my quirks and the laugh that fuels my wishes (which often don’t fit with the said appropriateness for a middle-aged woman).

“Let’s build one!”

And so it began. This dream wish of mine.

We didn’t have any real tools. No molds. No bucket. No shovel.

Steve asked me what kind of castle. Round? Square?  Towers? Moat?

Yes. Yes. Yes. And yes.

We played like children. Engrossed and immersed in our task. Two people grown, playing in the sand

I found a large bottle cap and began to carry water from the ocean to the building site. Steve found a broken piece of plastic shovel and a piece of cardboard. Eventually I finished drinking a bottle of water, and so my transporting of water became a much easier and more productive endeavor. But I still used the bottle cap; it was just the right size for wetting the places Steve was working. Steve held and pressed the cardboard against the walls of the castle to make them square, and I filled in the gaps with wet sand. Steve’s huge hands patted and pressed and flattened. Mine brushed, smoothed and rounded.

We had to change our design. Several times our towers crumbled and our walls shifted and slid. Or an idea simply didn’t work, but it didn’t seem to matter. We simply altered our plans and began again.

We built quietly. Intently. Diligently. Three word instructions or directions passed between us. For every creative endeavor each one of us introduced the other one would follow with matching and complimentary creativity. We didn’t discuss how we wanted the castle to look or even how big to make it. We simply worked together. Side by side.

One purpose. One goal. One vision.

And we used what we had. We used the tools given us. We employed what we already possessed.

And we worked side by side. We make a good team.

When we declared it finished we took way too many photos mostly because we understand the ways of the beach. We knew there would be a chance when we returned that the castle would be gone. For whatever reason.

Then we dipped in the ocean to cool our hot, sweaty and sandy selves. We left the beach to get lunch (that’s another story!). When we traipsed back a couple of hours later to our surprise and delight the castle remained. Another interesting thing? When we left only our castle stood on our stretch of the beach, but when we returned several other castles rose up from the sand around ours. And strangely enough the architects of those castles had copied details from ours.

I have built castles in the sand before. I have erected structures on the shores, but that day with Steve my morning dream became a reality. It had been accomplished together.

Side by Side.

This castle was far different than I had originally foreseen. The sand castle was more substantial and solid than I expected. And our castle of sand was far more beautiful than I ever imagined.


But isn’t that the way of the wondrous grace of God?











1 comment:

TARSmith said...

Love this post. You've waited such a long time for a sand castle. And for side-by-side.