Making Sandcastles  ~Author Unknown

Hot sun. Salty air. Rhythmic waves.

A little boy is on his knees scooping and packing the sand with plastic shovels into a bright blue bucket. Then he upends the bucket on the surface and lifts it. And, to the delight of the little architect, a castle tower is created.

All afternoon he will work. Spooning out the moat. Packing the walls. Bottle tops will be sentries. Popsicle sticks will be bridges. A sandcastle will be built.

Big city. Busy streets. Rumbling traffic.

A man is in his office. At his desk he shuffles papers into stacks and delegates assignments. He cradles the phone on his shoulder and punches the keyboard with his fingers. Numbers are juggled and contracts are signed and much to the delight of the man, a profit is made.

All his life he will work. Formulating the plans. Forecasting the future. Annuities will be sentries. Capital gains will be bridges. An empire will be built.

Two builders of two castles. They have much in common. They shape granules into grandeurs. They see nothing and make something. They are diligent and determined. And for both the tide will rise and the end will come.

Yet that is where the similarities cease. For the boy sees the end while the man ignores it. Watch the boy as the dusk approaches.

As the waves near, the wise child jumps to his feet and begins to clap. There is no sorrow. No fear. No regret. He knew this would happen. He is not surprised. And when the great breaker crashes into his castle and his masterpiece is sucked into the sea, he smiles. He smiles, picks up his tools, takes his father’s hand, and goes home.

The grownup, however, is not so wise. As the wave of years collapses on his castle he is terrified. He hovers over the sandy monument to protect it. He blocks the waves from the walls he has made. Salt-water soaked and shivering he snarls at the incoming tide.

“It’s my castle,” he defies.

The ocean need not respond. Both know to whom the sand belongs…

I don’t know much about sandcastles. But children do. Watch them and learn. Go ahead and build, but build with a child’s heart. When the sun sets and the tides take – applaud. Salute the process of life and go home.


food for thought~

With the phrase, “Letting go of the apron strings,” this comes to mind: ‘we are taught at an early age to hold on… ‘ As a child you learn very quickly to hold on tightly to the spoon or it will fall from your hand. So, subconsciously we are programed to maintain a grip on things, and possessions of things soon follow when your parent scolds you because you lost your lunch money or your left boot… IMAGINE : Mom yelling, “How do you loose one boot? Now what will you do with only one boot. One boot does you no good, Now go out and find that other boot or your going to be grounded and barefooted!!!” So… we learn to maintain possession of our possessions.

Then, as in the story above, we realize that … “you can’t take it with you when you go!” One of the hardest things to do in life is to filter through and box up a loved ones possessions after they have passed away. (I have witnessed a family’s fist fight over a loved ones belongings after a funeral, sadly enough)

So, we collect things till the day we die and they remain, while we pass on.  we could take a lesson from the animals that never go through this world carrying any thing with them. Like that of ‘Cain’ from the T.V. series, ‘Kung Fu’ who walked through this world with all that he owned in a bag, strapped over his shoulder.

I’M not saying shed all your items and walk from this day forward with nothing, but rather do not cling to tightly to your possessions, for one day, they will be some one else’s. Life is temporary and so are possessions.    Art~

Not your ordinary sand castle

Morning stretched itself awake as I made my way down to the shore and joined the handful of early risers. Lazy edges of waves lapped gently over my feet and I scrunched my toes in warm sand. Good time to build a sand castle. It was modestly done mostly for relaxation and meditation. Not a thing anyone would pause to admire. After I finished the basic shape, I began to decorate the form with shells. A boy about eight years of age walked up and began to kick at the castle. I wondered what was in his mind for him to do such a thing?

What happened next, happened quickly. I held out my hand filled with shells and said, ‘Here, help me put these on.’ He stopped kicking, looked at me for several seconds, then took the shells and began to place them on the castle. We decorated in comfortable silence. I’m out of shells,’ he said after several minutes. ‘Get more,’ I replied. He did, giving some to me. After a while, another little boy came along and started to kick the castle. My little boy started to fight him. I said, ‘Give him some shells.’ The new boy worked with us for a couple of minutes, then left.

When the entire exterior was covered in shells and shell fragments, we stepped back to look at our work. ‘We did a good job,’ I said, ‘Thank you.’ He looked at me, looked at the castle, said it was time for him to go and he left. I watched for a while as he walked away and wondered how long our sand castle would remain in tact, then I left for the day. Early the next morning, I went down to the site. The shell-adorned castle, remarkably, had been allowed to just be. It was evident that only nature had touched it with its tide.

Thoughts about this moment in time with the little boy wove in and out of my consciousness that day. He must have been surprised when I didn’t yell at him to stop his kicking, or take even more aggressive action towards him. It certainly surprised me when I felt inspired to suggest he help. Yes, I extended my hand to him, but he chose to invest his time and energy into his ornamental efforts and then felt a need to protect the creation when someone sought to destroy it. He had put some part of himself into the project. I realized that perhaps for human consciousness, Investment equals Connection. I realized how different life might be if we assumed our connection first. Investment in each other and our world would be automatic.

As I gave this moment on the beach even more consideration, I thought that if we don’t feel or perceive our connection to something or someone, it’s easy to either not care about it or them, or to destroy without thought or awareness. I do accept what physics reveals to us: All in existence is comprised of the same energy that is everywhere in the universe. The only separation is, ultimately, in our minds. Quantum physics reveals that after we peel away all layers of manifestation, absolutely nothing is there. Nothing but the consciousness in all things – our shared consciousness, I would add – and the potential for manifestation. Whether we call that consciousness the Creator or we call it Pudding doesn’t matter. It’s real. It’s who we are. We just haven’t fully understood that yet.

From time to time, I wonder if that moment is one the boy remembers – if it had any influence in his life. He should be a young adult now. That moment is still a golden thread in my life’s tapestry. It was a lovely, peaceful solution. I realize still, that when someone gives me a challenge, if appropriate, I give them some ‘shells.’ If I and others, practice peaceful solutions with smaller problems, we may one day seek to find peaceful ways to deal with the really big ones.

Written by Joyce Shafer


As summer approaches and trips to the beach begin… enjoy creating your sandcastles and remember; life is like a sandcastle, build and enjoy creating, then embrace the day nature erases all traces of what we have done.

all we are is dust in the wind… enjoy your day, my friend