The Trouble With Tides
I closed my eyes and could see it so vividly, so clearly- it was more like reality and less like a dream. The beautiful white sand, untouched this morning by human hands-the water as it crept out of the sea and kissed the sand good morning. The crisp ocean air tickled my nose and reminded me of all the days I had spent with her.
I plunge my feet into the sand and giggle as the damp warm earth dances between my toes. I pick up a handful and the sand slips through my fingers. Tiny grains of sand -once mighty rocks tumbled by the ebb and flow of the tide-rough edges gently smoothed away. Polished until any resemblance of it’s former self is gone. Once mighty rocks witness many of life’s pleasures. A child’s first trip to the beach, the first time the water caresses her skin. A first glance, a first date, a lover’s first kiss-she sees them all. But perhaps the greatest yet simplest of these pleasures is a castle made at the hands of a child. Inspiring, creating, building, so simple. The pleasure it brings is irreplaceable.
She reminds me of my sand castle. Beautiful, strong-yet delicate, eye-catching, something to be proud of. But the tide has a sneaky way of coming up when you least expect it. The tides- the lies I told, the secrets I never revealed, the things in my closet I never wanted to see the light of day. The tides. They creep up and threaten to destroy everything I have built so carefully. How do I save my castle from these tides? I want so badly to pick it up and run to safety. The safety of drier land. The safety away from the water.
I can see the water rising. I see the tides creeping in. I’m standing here at the water’s edge completely helpless to save my castle. I look around to see if anyone can help me, but everyone is too busy trying to save their own castles from destruction. Nobody even notices what is going on near the waters edge. The first wave of the incoming tide touches my castle at the foundation and slowly brings some of it back to the ocean. It’s happening and I am powerless against it. Another wave washes up and takes more of my castle back to where it came from. I struggle with what to do. Do I walk away and let the tide win? Can I walk away and remember my precious castle no more? Thoughts creep in and I begin to think I can always build another castle. It won’t be the same. It will look different, sure, but I could love it the way I love this one. Can I? Little by little the tide is winning. Little by little my castle is being washed out to sea. A beautiful castle, fit for a queen, destroyed in a moment by the creeping tide. So little left I can hardly recognize it. In desperation to save what little I have left, to hold on to anything, to preserve the smallest piece of something so great and wonderful, I reach down and scoop up the remains. In that moment I knew I made a tragic mistake. As I stand there, holding what’s left of my castle in my hands, the sand starts slipping through my fingers. I can’t hold it any longer. A mere matter of seconds after I scooped it up it is gone. Gone forever back to the earth it arose from. Completely unrecognizable in a pile at my feet. All I can do is cry. The very thing I did to try to save it, became it’s swiftest destruction.
I fall to my knees. I run my hands through the sand in attempt to feel something that reminds of me of what I had. It’s useless. It will never be the same. It has been forever ruined by the tides. The best I can do is make sure next time I’m far away from the tide.