This past weekend,I decided to go build sand castles.
The day was too beautiful not to partake in her symphony.
So I got on my two-piece and headed to Ocean Beach.
The only problem when one lets herself play is that play might have been forgotten in these grown-up legs and grown-up arms. (Not to mention a grown-up belly that may be judged no matter how lovely or unlovely it is.)
So I did what any child would do: I started to play, I let things come back naturally, and I returned to an innocence that shirked off any knowledge of wounded physical projections onto me.
When I started, there were some 'glitches': I couldn't remember how kids figured out where to build their sand castles.
(You see, kids know the right mixture of moisture to sand ratio inherently. I moved twice before recalling ancient memories of knowing with my body.)
When I need to move because things went 'wrong', I did what any other well-trained child would do: I enthusiastically problem-solved and simply said, "Oh...I need more dry sand!"
(I then had to figure out how to move my adult belongings back a few yards to just the right spot. It was a conundrum for a second because how does one move things when her hands are gritty, sandy, and 'dirty'? But a child would have no problem! And in the end neither did I. Who cares if I need to shake out my pack at the end of a beach-filled day?)
I also got off the white sheet. And onto the sand. Hunched over or sitting straight, whatever the task demanded-- the child in me was liberated to really play, concentrate, once again be confident in her own sense of self, and receive joy.
Once I figured out where to build, I also had to relearn how to build.
There are no calculations. No thinking of efficiency. None of that. The sand won't let you. And your inner child will refuse!
So my hands and spirit ended up making a dome made up of tiny domes. This adult-being-a-child only had a kitchen bowl...
And in all of this, I was reminded of something this Petra Pan had almost forgotten: my favorite part is creating the moat.