The Sandcastle

The Sandcastle


Multiple towers, levels and windows, and even a portcullis. Bricked archways even the Romans would be envious of. The wide footprint, masterfully ambitious, commands attention from passersby.

The builder’s secret—wet sand. But not too wet. And not too dry either. Standing at the precipice where last night’s waves reached momentarily, the sandcastle feels almost effortless. One might even say timeless.

A stubborn cloudy haze meanders in and out of the sun’s rays, like a slow waltz, casting delicate shadows that kiss the ever-expanding castle walls. Calm waves trickle and whisper to a few seagulls. An ecstatic dog runs nearby—a little too close the builder thinks.

With his back to the ocean, the builder works tirelessly and meticulously. The builder’s focus is his greatest strength. Motivation with a plan. Work ethic with a purpose. Skill with a desire.

A cold hand touches the builder. No matter.

The tallest tower as of yet, begins construction. Soaring over four stories, a peaked roof punctuates the tower; a tower any fairytale would be proud of telling.

A cold hand grasps the builder.

The builder pauses and turns around slowly. The calm waves continue to trickle; however, it is like the entire ocean tip-toed to get a closer look at the magnificent sandcastle.

The builder sighs momentarily. The builder erects a tall wall preceded by a deep moat. Even this tall wall boasts individually carved bricks, water spouts and a parapet. A true artist at work.

For some time, no waves reach the moat. And the waves that reach the moat lack any passion.  The builder marvels at the protection of his moat.

Suddenly, a massive wave yells in the builder’s ear and pummels the tall wall obliterating the moat. The sandcastle is in danger.

Frantically, the builder digs and bails water away.

Like a broken record, the builder keeps re-digging the moat and fortifying the sea break. The sandcastle must be saved at all costs. How quickly building can become saving. For all the builder’s efforts, the sandcastle remains unfinished and unchanged. In the brief moments where the ocean loses interest, the builder just rests; he is too tired to resume building.

Inevitability is upon the builder. But the builder cannot lose his investment. There is too much time and energy already spent. If the builder stops now, then it will have been all for nothing.

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