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Meditation on Digging in the Sand

Posted by on July 7th, 2014 with 0 Comments

Digging in the Sand

Beach. Sunshine. Plastic bucket and spade.

I sit on the sand and watch the Munchkin run in and out of the water. It is cold, but he’s trying not to notice.

Eventually he gives up and heads onto the sand bank. Behind us is a shallow lagoon, cut off by the low tide.

“I’m going to make a channel”, he declares as he picks up a spade.

After a few minutes of watching, I make a decision… “I’ll help!”

Together we build The Suez Canal. It’s a long, thin channel across the sand bank. Starting at the lagoon end, I grab the other spade and start digging – carefully – one little sliver at a time. Occasionally, a small crab tries to scuttle out of the way of my blade. I lift it carefully onto the accumulating pile of sand, so that I do not accidentally dismember it next time.

I notice the change in the sand’s colour as I dig deeper – from white to beige to deep grey. Rotting mangrove leaves turn the sand black. Pockets of rust coloured sand catch my eye. They seem to accumulate around crab holes. I wonder if the two are related.

For at least an hour I dig. The Munchkin tries to speed up the process by pouring water into the channel, and scraping away a top layer along our marking, gradually deepening his end.

The tide is coming in.

Picking up the pace, I dig more furiously, and carelessly, causing sporadic sand slides, which the Munchkin moves in to repair. He is keen to “cut the ribbon” that finally opens the channel to the incoming tide, and removes the last few centimetres of sand by hand.

“I declare The Suez Canal open!”

Some last minute repairs are made as the incoming waters meet any weaknesses in construction and design, but soon the channel stabilizes and we leave nature to take its course.

Not content to stand by doing nothing, the Munchkin grabs his boogie board and heads out into the chilly waters again.

Meanwhile, I watch with interest as the water eddies and flows through the mini channels and sand banks. I watch the channel widen and smooth out. I watch as it develops wavelike sand patterns at its base. I continue watching.

I watch it gradually disappear with the tide… like a sand mandala being swept away.

Power.  Beauty.  Impermanence.

Out in the water, near the end of where the channel once stood, the Munchkin performs his Cold Water Dance – a frantic mix of Polynesian haka moves, chanting and an underwater Irish jig.

A ceremonial dance to the tide, the sand and setting sun.

Today I am grateful.

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Hi, I’m Cath

Cath Connell

Creating my amazing life one tiny moment at a time. Bringing the Hubby, a Munchkin and about a dozen tomato plants along for the ride.

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