Meditation on Digging in the Sand

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.

Basil Pesto and PopBrazil

Basil Pesto

It is barely five minutes after arriving at my in-law’s house that my next day is planned on my behalf. Grandma points out her multitude of beautiful, lush basil plants. It is my task to turn them into pesto.

The next morning, the Munchkin helps gather the first lot of leaves.

I turn the TV to SBS radio. PopBrazil has been running throughout the World Cup, and it makes great background music.

With the jars clean and sterilised, Grandma and the Munchkin head to the beach.

Meanwhile, I pick, wash, dry, grate, blend, spoon and samba my way through the next few hours. The anomaly of making pesto in July does not escape me.

Six large jars of Queensland sunshine.

Some of that sunshine will be coming home with me!

Today I am grateful.

Byron Aesthetics

Byron Bay Aesthetics

Whales in the distant blue waters, tiny sprays blowing in the wind.

Hand carved glass lenses of a type no longer made, stopped from their normally tireless turning for the shortest time, seemingly just for us.

Drumming in the last light of the day – kids and twilight women dance to the beat.

Ocean waves pounding, reflecting the sunset. Attracting the dark shadows of surfers and dogs chasing tennis balls. Distant mountains in a hundred shades of shadow.

Boys and girls, gathered in groups – natural, healthy, alive. Flowing locks and flimsy dresses. How did I miss this when I was that young and lithe? Was I ever that young and lithe?

Lights, glowing into the night in multitudes of colours, shapes and textures. Strings, stars, balloons, balls. All the colours of the rainbow.

Healthy food that tastes amazing. Less healthy NZ Sav Blanc or Rose to complement it perfectly.

Aromas of a world of cuisines, gathering in little alleys and malls – something to try another day.

A fire twirler dances and swirls, his flames lashing out into the crowd. Delighted squeals of pre-teen girls mingle with gasps of surprise, to be followed by energetic applause.

A walk in the darkness to discover a light. Lighthouse mirrors shine like diamonds, reflecting their patterns in the glass. The stars of the Milky Way provide a backdrop to the shadowy historic buildings. A magical beam revolves into the horizons, protecting not one, but two shores.

A sweet, sticky wine and a Tim Tam back at base camp.

Today I am grateful.

Byron Lights

Byron Bay Lighthouse Lens

Asia Joe's Byron Bay

Fire Twirler Byron Bay


Fire Twirler Byron Bay

Luxury Lunch at Byron Bay Beach Cafe

Twilight at Byron Bay

Byron Bay Lighthouse

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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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