Sunday, 31 March 2013

Love and Imagination



I watched some kids today that were playing on the beach. Two brothers, one older and one younger, and they were both building sand castles. The older ones castle was more ambitious, but it appeared that they were both having the time of their lives.

I remembered when I was a kid and had the opportunity to build a castle on the beach. It was one of those castles that had a moat with a draw bridge, thick impregnable walls, large corner turrets made from overturned plastic buckets and smaller turrets from soup cans for the archers in the middle of each wall. Of course there were flags flying from the tip of each turret and a large banner flying from the spire of the central keep. There was a tunnel somewhere out the back so that in the event of defeat, the important citizens could make good their escape.
The biggest problem that my castles had was keeping water in the moat. Lucky for me I had a friendly giant that was more than happy to keep filling the moat with cans or buckets of water. I spent hours and hours protecting the outside of my castle with shells and pieces of wood that stuck on the walls. I would build a road leading up to the castle using rocks to pave it and sometimes I would build a village just outside the castle walls. Every now and then there would be some rogue wave that would decimate the walls of my castle. On the plus side, the waves would keep the moat filled.

Every now and then, instead of building a castle I would dig a hole big enough for me to hide in. I suppose that I would have liked to have my brother bury me once it was done, but I never felt comfortable enough that he would actually dig me out once I was up to my neck in sand. Ideally the hole would be big enough to kneel in and comfortable enough to lean back and watch the clouds in the sky. I loved the beach!
The reality was that the hole was just a depression in the sand which I dug until it became too difficult to go any further. In my mind, it was deep enough that I could hear people talking Chinese. The castle was just a couple of buckets filled with wet sand piled in the middle of a circular trench that I would then pour water into. I had the vision, but I didn't have the engineering know how to accomplish my dreams.

I suppose that I could build something closer to what my mind sees now that I am older, but the desire isn't there any more. Perhaps someday I will find myself on a beach with Hurricane and Tornado. The three of us will build a castle with a moat and drawbridge, lots of turrets and flags, a central keep and an escape tunnel out the back some where. We will then dig a hole big enough so that we can just about hear the people speaking Chinese over the sound of the ocean waves. I will make sure that neither of the boys are left in the hole.
Well, that's what we will try to build and that is what we will see. It may just be a pile of sand with a ditch around the outside, but it will have been build with love and imagination.

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