Memories of childhood instantly appear.
The feel of grit inside shoes, between toes.
Saltwater and sunshine and laughter all mix together.
There’s a different kind of sandcastle.
The ones made of dreams.
The ones which can be etched with childhood desires turned adulthood vows.
Maybe I am the only one who has had any of these.
I remember one of the first was to live on a farm.
To have animals and live off the land and spend all my time outdoors.
Yet the castle began to crumble as reality hit me.
Animals are not the same outside the petting zoo.
Outdoors means not just in the sun and warmth but in the cold and snow and rain.
Living off the land means days of work to till the soil, plant the seeds, water, weed, fight the bugs and birds only to realize most food needs to be processed if it will last the winter months.
Another castle I had built was titled “motherhood”.
Babysitting was my best paying job and I loved it.
Kids just were fun.
How much better to have my own!
Then our daughter was born and I realized with sorrow she cries when I hold her. She squirms and kicks when I cuddle her. She doesn’t eat when I try to feed her. Wait! Maybe this isn’t as easy as it looks!
However, with each sandcastle I have built the lessons have been worth the cracks in my dreams.
Farming taught me to appreciate the food on our table and the hours of hard labor it stands for.
Motherhood has given me the ability to learn the unique and wonderful ways each child is created, different yet amazing.
The only times my castles have completely been obliterated was through my own selfish pride.
When I tried to hold on to a dream. To force it to come true. I learned grasping at the sand, trying to pat in place, the perfect tower of “dreams”, my efforts were the exact same as if it were a sand creation I was trying desperately to create. I had flattened the castle.
When God’s will begins to wash away the castles of selfishness or pride I have always been able to look back and see I was better off without them.
Some dreams are not His perfect will.
Yet the ones which do hold His path for us are the best because although they can crack and crumble,
Although the end structure may look different,
If it was used by Him to bless and stretch and grow it is a castle worth building.