This is the beginning of the sand castle. The t-k is having fun just playing in the water and sand at this point, running amok and having too much fun on the beach. I was just enjoying the quiet morning and thinking I wanted to park right there and do nothing but play in the water and build sand castles all day.
So that is what we did.
Way back in the Fashioned Challenged Seventies, I am pretty sure I built a sand castle pretty close to that spot, Traverse City Beach, West Bay, Lake Michigan. One of many over the years, on many beaches, all over time and place. I remember that beach as a kid. Much has changed since then.
The Mom & Pop Motels are, for the most part, gone, replaced with big corporate hotels. The downtown is older, a bit more modern as well. The Zoo has changed, but it is still the zoo. One of my all time fave places, Arnold's Fun Land, is long gone, just an empty lot now for the past decade. The shoreline has changed, thats for sure. The view may have changed a bit as well, more houses visible on the peninsulas.
But the water is still the same. The sand, well the sand changes so slowly over time as to be unchanging to my eyes. The sun still shines and the breeze still pushes little waves to the beach. Imagination still runs deep. There are castles to be built.
Me and the wee lad sat there, in a bubble of time, and built a big castle close to the waters edge. Slowly, the waves crept closer and closer and the lake front crumbled into a wave. As all sand castle builders, we shrugged, and added another wall to the back and continiued building, outward and upward. It is what you do.
We would find small stones as we dug the moat and added then as windows and doors. A feather from a passing gull floated up and we added that as a flag. A piece of driftwood became a bridge, then washed away in a wave that filled the moat and sapped an outer wall. The te-k was dismayed, until I pointed out we would just keep building, and scoop the washed out wall into a handfull of wet sand to drip onto a new tower.
With wind and wave, our castle changed. The wet towers would dry in the sun, then a wave would collapse it and the wind would blow the loose sand into our laps, the feather drifting off on a breeze. Our castle grew along the shore, and up the bank. We played.
Change in time, change in place. Then again, there is a constant there, is there not? But of course there is. The castle in the sand, deep down, has always been there. Some days it sees the sun and takes a temporary shape when two sets of hands are at play.
As we walked away, the t-k says, 'I want to do this again, even when I am big like you.'
Who says there are no secrets in a castle made of sand?