They are teenagers. They want to have fun. This appendage is a nuisance but they try. I am swooped up in snug arms and we head for the water. I am safe. I know I am. Gentle swells appear as mountains overtaking me. "It's alright," I hear. A girls voice. "I've got you."
"See we are floating over?" "Weee!"
I am terrified. No. I want to go back. To the sand.
It's hot and humid and no one wants to leave the water. "You take her. No, you take her."
We sit on the white sand. It sticks to our damp legs as we dig a hole. Like in the Robert Louis Stevenson poem my mother reads to me,
"In every hole the sea came up till it could come no more."
Grainy and wet we take handfuls and drip them slowly through our thumbs and forefingers in grayish clumps. Like melted wax they build up in a pointed tower. A medieval castle dotted with tiny flecks of lavender shell. Bits of coquina that scratch our fingers. My feet sit in a squishy puddle that feels heavenly on my toes. I wiggle them around to make it mush more.
After a time the tide recedes. The puddle dries up. I am bored and tired and hot and sandy. The recipe for a tantrum. They are back and forth to the water. They are teenagers. They don't want to leave. I am crying. He says, "I'll watch her." We sit against giant black boulders where the sand is softest. It sifts and blows through our fingers in the wind. They came unarmed with toys beyond a large kitchen spoon. "Do you want to go swimming?" No. " Do you want to make a castle?" I do.
He tries to create a fortress in the dry sand but it won't work. We don't have the tools. Spindly, early teens, limbs and sunburned ears sticking out from beneath his hair. His head, whiter than the sand itself, is bent with determination. And finally frustration. "I can make you a snow man," he says.Yes. Snow is as foreign to me as my world might be to a Siberian but I know what a snowman looks like. He digs a little to the cooler, slightly damp sand below the surface and grabs handfuls. He stoops, carefully shaping the ball. I am enthralled. Smoothing his fingers along the surface he props them on top of each other, about a foot tall, leaning against the boulder for support. I am delighted as we search for bits of shell and sticks to complete him.
I sit. Gritty, sticky and tired but happy and overcome with love and hero worship.
When it is time to go I don't want to leave my treasure behind.
My big brother was magic.
He made a Snowman out of Sand.
This post is inspired by The Red Dress Club RemembeRed Prompt : Sand
I love this memory and couldn't resist. But participating in anything makes me feel like I'm gonna throw up, so I'm going to push publish as fast as I can now and then run!
© 2011 All Rights Reserved