I have to tell you about this kid I saw at the beach the other day. It was one of those perfect summer days—warm, windless, with lazy, rolling surf that cools the skin. Beaches are perfect playgrounds for kids and pockets of children were building sandcastles and chasing each other around in the shallow water.
On this particular afternoon, I was mesmerized by a boy splashing in the sudsy water. He emerges from the soup and with spindly legs exuberantly tromps towards the soft sand; arms flail and water drips. The child scarecrow drops to his knees to pay homage to the warmth and softness that beckons. He flops onto his stomach and chest and dabs his face into the granular pillow. Like a cook carefully breading a chicken breast, he sits up, turns over, and lies back down to coat his backside. A child can lie still for only so long, and soon our sand-child sits up again and proceeds to anoint his head with sand, sprinkling his hair with the beach’s fine-grained sugar.
Most people pull back with disgust and think twice about all that gritty sand invading places where the sun don’t shine. But I see this child, so free and unencumbered. Fully sugarized, the boy jumps up and sprints to the water. He’s obviously delighted with the beach’s contrast of water and sand and begins the dipping and coating process anew.