Her feet had set tiny patterns into the wet sand, which were soon washed away by the inevitable rhythm of the waves. She made her way to the sand castle she had built a day earlier only to find it in ruins. It didn’t matter to her. With her plump little hands and plenty of sand, she got to work again. An hour or two passed before she finished her fifth sand castle of the week. She rubbed her hands together sending chunks of dirt into the air and finally stood up to admire her work.
“Mommy,” she yelled, her sounds somewhat muffled by the intermittent breaking of waves.
She waved and then ran closer and yelled again. This time her mother heard.
“Look at my castle, Mommy. Isn’t it pretty?”
Her mother, Lisa, had plenty of praises. The little girl danced around her castle, adding little bits of sand here and there to shape the walls or adjust the size. Lisa watched, knowing that in a couple of hours the castle would go under water.
Her daughter seemed to read her mind, “The big sea is going to take you. So goodbye pretty castle.”
She patted the sand down while her mother wondered how her daughter could remain so detached. After so much effort, she was ready to leave it for the sea to destroy. Lisa couldn’t imagine the other children in the city being without their toys. When she was not on holiday, Lisa managed a daycare and the children were not an easy lot. They wanted new toys and new games becoming sick of their old ones. She could understand because she did similar things. Lisa booked the family on a beach holiday because she was sick of work and home. She was even tired of her not-so-old laptop and had been looking out for the next thing.
“The new is only new for day,” she thought introspectively.
Here was her daughter who played the same old game everyday, and the mighty waves would devour her tiny creation. But she built the castles again and again, enjoying each second. On the other hand, here was Lisa dissatisfied with her work and with her home routine. She craved for new experiences but soon grew weary of them.
If fancy places, flashy gadgets and exotic foods do not satisfy, then the answer can’t be in material wealth Lisa thought to herself. Her little girl never cared for any of these. She remained happy with herself wherever she was. The answer is her self. The inner self. For the spirit, nothing is old and boring. Each day is a fresh beginning, and every moment is one of joy.
Lisa closed her eyes. A light ocean-bound breeze enveloped her being and drifted away.
When she opened her eyes, she couldn’t tell whether her heart expanded into the ocean or the ocean became her heart. She felt one with the nature and in tune with her spirit. Her daughter tugged at her and slipped a coiled shell into her mother’s hand.
“The water gave us a gift,” she said pointing ahead.
For her daughter it was a game, but Lisa knew she had found a special peace that day. She hugged her daughter tight and thanked the sea, for she couldn’t contain her gratitude. The two prepared to return home. She walked away from the ocean leaving behind her worries and attachments. The waves receded toward the setting sun, and then splashed on the shore washing their footprints away.