Castles Made of Sand

‘Take a minute to sit back, relax, and breathe deeply.’

The wind pelted Shari in the face with tiny flecks of rock as she sat in the warm, baking sand. It was early, but the sun had been out long enough to give the ground considerable warmth.

‘Don’t pay attention to anything else. The only thing you can feel is the air going into and leaving your lungs.’

She breathed in and out.

‘The only thing you can hear is the sound of the waves crashing into the shore.’

She listened to the soothing water.

‘And think of nothing. Let your mind go blank. Empty your thoughts.’

“MOM!”

Shari fell back down to Earth with tremendous force. Her eyes opened wide. Her ears heard everything. And her mind was going a mile a minute.

“MOM! LOOK WHAT I’M DOING! MOOOOM!”

She finally was able to catch her breath and looked over to where the disturbance was coming from. It was her daughter, Sadie, who was trying to show her mom the sand castle she’d just built.

“MOM! DO YOU SEE IT?”

Shari took one last deep breath and pushed herself up off the ground. ‘Yeah sweetie I do,’ she replied as she started gathering her beach blanket, ‘It sure is something.’

“MOM YOU’RE NOT EVEN LOOKING! MOM! LOOK!!”

Her head turned and her eyes peered off into the distance, only to see the most beautiful, gorgeous, grandiose, elegant sand castle Shari had ever laid eyes on. Every turret was there. Every corner was perfectly rounded. Sadie had even built buttresses out of twigs, covering them with wet sad and then adorning them with different colors of sea glass.

‘Sadie…’ Shari was stunned. ‘Where did you learn to do this?’ Her daughter was only five years old, after all. Hardly the correct age for an architect, engineer, or the like.

“I don’t know,” she looked down and shook her head, “I just did it!”

Shari leaned down and studied the building. Its every window was perfectly placed. Every post and every lintel impeccably aligned, plumb with its lengthy surroundings. It was a masterpiece.

But then, out of the corner of her eye, Shari saw something coming toward her with immense speed. She turned her head to see what it was, and a gargantuan, shirtless frat boy named Brad came into her field of view. She looked up a little farther and saw a football in the air, spiraling right toward her. And in the blink of an eye, it was gone. Brad’s feet stomped each and every grain of sand out of existence, sent back to their watery grave.

Shari was heartbroken. She fell down onto her knees and water began to fill her eyes. ‘It’s…It’s gone.’

Her daughter, sweet and innocent, sat down next to her mom. She picked up a handful of sand and watched it drip down through her fingers. “It’s okay, Mom. There’s tons more sand to make another house with.”

As it fell through her fingers, the sand that was leaving Sadie’s hand created a little mound on the beach. It was indistinguishable from the others, but it was hers. Shari looked down, saw it, and put her hand over her daughter’s shoulder.

‘There sure is, sweetie. There sure is.’

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