Sand Castles

I walked by this sand castle on the beach while it was being constructed, when it was finished and again after it had been washed away completely by the incoming tide. It was a big one, took a couple of adults several hours to construct.IMG_1928

I have made my share of sand castles over the years. As adults we pretend we build them for the children in our lives, but that is only partially true. There is a sense of satisfaction in building such an elaborate structure, even though you know it is not permanent. In fact, that impermanence seems to be art of the appeal.

I am not sure why that is. You would think that we would be happy with our creation and want to see it preserved, but if that really was the case no-one would ever build a sand castle where the tide would wash it away within hours.IMG_1930

Maybe building a sand castle is some sort of metaphor for life. (Don’t try and deduce any great theology from this, these truly are random thoughts offered for entertainment value only.) The construction materials are difficult to work with, but we make do and persevere. We know that in the end the building will not withstand the forces arrayed against it, but that doesn’t stop us from starting (and finishing) the project. The outcome may be inevitable, but the journey can be a lot of fun. Once the tide goes out you can start all over again – and as long as you understand the end results will be the same you should be okay.IMG_1933


As you can see, the tide is rolling in and the outer wall has been breached. Soon the entire structure will be underwater.

Or maybe building a sand castle is just about having fun, about allowing yourself do be a child once more and doing something childish. It can be a big, bad world out there. We all need to take things a little less seriously from time to time for our own mental health. Maybe the world just needs more sand castles.

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