Lessons from the Sand Castles of our Lives
I love sand castles. I always have. Ever since growing up on the waters of the Potomac River in Virginia have I been enamored with the building….and eventual demise…of my beach creations.
What’s funny is that if I were to accurately explain it, my joys growing up were more about creating fortifications for the sand castles. Dams and moats—that was my thing. Call me silly, but there was always something intriguing about building fortifications out of sand and then watching how they were able to stand up to mother nature as the rising tides beat and battered away at them until they were rendered no more—returned back to their original state just beckoning to be molded again into another dam, and another moat, on another day.
As I accompanied my children outside of our Potomac cottage this morning with shovel in hand they each looked at me with peculiar eyes. Once at the beach, my directions were simple. I drew a circle in the sand and told them to build castles—any castle, of any shape, and of any size, within the circle. So as they commenced creating, I started building dams and digging moats to protect the castles from the incoming waves. Within 20 minutes, our creation started to take shape. While my 3 year old Larsen decided the moat would make for a better cool-off spot, my two older kids worked away. Eventually, one questioned our operation-
“When the tide comes in Dad, what will happen to all we’ve built?”
“It will be washed away.”
“So then why are we doing all this if it will just end up being destroyed?”
“Kids, it’s not about the sand castle, it’s about the experience of building and creating something we’re proud of. After that, it doesn’t matter what Mother Nature does because we’ve had a great time during the process.”
Needless to say, the kids didn’t fully understand…but I certainly hope one day they’ll come to appreciate this incredibly important truism.
Too often in life we get caught up in the end-result. Whether it’s a monetary number, some type of job title, or maybe a luxury item—such becomes our focus instead of getting as much as possible out of each and every day of this journey.
Am I saying such lofty goals are a bad thing? Of course not. In fact, goals and end-results are awesome. But it’s this process of dreaming, building, creating, and working that defines who we are and what we’ll eventually become.
So enjoy your days. Cherish the journey. Concern yourself not with ‘the end’ but rather the profound lessons life is kind enough to bring us each step along the way.
Happy Labor day to all……….