Thursday, February 05, 2004

The Sands of Time

I know someone who's lived on this island for decades--this little island that has about 40 gorgeous tropical beaches--and never goes to the beach...because she hates sand. It's hard for me to relate to her sand-hating because I love the stuff. Love it. Have loved it since I had a sandbox in my first backyard--a backyard I had to abandon at age 3 when we moved. The good news was that I could still play in the sandbox because my cousins moved to that house (it was owned by the grandmother).

One of my favorite things to do at the beach is to watch the kids. Living in an international travel destination (and nearest the most popular beach), I see all kinds of kids at our beach and it seems to be universal that they all love sand and waves. (It's also universal that kids like to scream when they're playing in the water.) Give any small child any item than can be used to hold sand or water and he/she is good to go for about 5 hours.

I typically take a stroll down the (mile-long) beach at some point on our beach days. Recently on my walk I saw an adorable tow-headed boy who was maybe 4, dressed in a surf suit, who had dug himself a pretty decent hole in the sand. He was sitting in his sand hole, shaking his head (and his little blond curls) back and forth as fast as he could with his mouth hanging open. Then he'd stop shaking his head and get this funny look on his face, and do it again. Maybe it was making him dizzy, because that seems to be another universal kid love--getting dizzy.

The best part of being at the beach for me is doing "nothing"...which while I'm doing it seems like everything. It fills me up in all the best ways--the sound of the waves, the sun, the loving buoyancy of the very salty water, the tradewind, the delighted shrieks of the kids and, yes, the feel of the sand between my toes. I wear flip-flops to the beach but once we're a few feet away from the car (onto the sand from the asphalt), they're flipped off not to be worn again until I walk to the car. Because I simply can't get enough of the sand.


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