How many trips to fill the sea with sand?

I’ve arrived back to Barbados after having survived the traffic filled, color stained, loud streets of Carnival in Trinidad. (Click here to get a glimpse at the controlled chaos of the greatest show on earth). A small recovery was necessary since I returned with what has been labeled as the “Post-Carnival cold”. I thought I’d take a day of decompressing in the white sand of my island home away from home and share what I observed during my meditative moments of being sun kissed under the Bajan Sky.

At first I sit with my knees bent up to my chest with only the tops of my feet being exposed as I’ve buried my toes into the warm sand. My view is the wide open sea slightly populated with a few paddle borders, small fishing boats and a large ship in the far distance. To my right are 2 twin boys and a middle aged man that by assumption is their father. The kids have the energy of puppies and appear to be around the hyper age of 5, maybe 6. Just beyond them is a woman in a large straw hat with a focused face as she’s clearly being swallowed into whatever book she’s reading. Just at her feet is a small toddler girl with a thick layer of sunscreen on her tiny nose and a pink cap decorated with Dora the explorer on it. 

To my left is another child with a knee board and rope who seems to think the ocean needs more sand. He proceeds to load up a pile on his board then run into the water making sure every grain is transported back to the sea. The 2ft short boy stands 6 feet tall as he wipes it off with pride before sprinting back to land for the next load. Makes me wonder what one would think if they saw a grown man doing such a thing.

Directly next to me is a couple of love birds not a day under 70. The gentlemen in freckle covered skin is matching to his silver haired lady and her hard earned wrinkles. They lay side by side as if to be inseparable. I’m close enough to hear the giggles as they discuss something that seems to be light hearted and entertaining.

As I look back to the 5 year old monkeys, they’re extremely excited as dad has now committed (with an exhausted if I must look on his face) to covering them in sand for the typical day-at-the beach event. With smiles and no movement, they hold perfectly still for the beginning of this process.

Book absorbed mom is now completely oblivious to her Dora exploring the sand that’s stuck on her fingers.  Tempted to get up and prevent this child from digesting small rocks, I realize that’s she probably not the first to do so and like most humans, will survive.

The elderly newlyweds have now given me even more hope for sincere love beyond a crush.  I don’t know if they met yesterday or are here to celebrate their 50th anniversary, but either way… It’s precious. 

I was not surprised at all when I gazed back to find the boy still trying to empty the shore back into the ocean. He’s probably plowed through a weeks worth of animal crackers and chocolate milk during his marathon of piling, pulling, dumping, sprinting and repeating. Maybe I should develop a fitness class on the beach. “Ok adults, bring a knee board and a rope… lets burn off some calories!”

My favorite observation came when I repositioned my eyes to the boys being buried in sand. Roles had reversed. Dad now has a very devious smile and the boys, well just the heads of the boys, are stretching out with sober faces and looks of helplessness. Revenge is smeared all over fathers grin as the two energizer bunnies are bound to sand-locked beds.

I’ve given up on Dora and her exploring as she is now laying lifeless in the shade with her hat cocked to the side just barely exposing her white nose and rosy cheeks. Did the sand consumption finally get her?! Nope, mom confirms that for me as she finally breaks from the book to wake up little one as its time to go home. 

The only clock I had at this moment was the worn out surfers coming back in, the paddle boarders loading up their gear and the sun turning to shades of a child’s coloring book. I’ve been here for awhile.

The sweethearts next to me have now taken their flirting elsewhere leaving me with a happy heart (and desire for a possible first date this year). 

I wasn’t able to witness the boy and his final delivery. Considering there was still an entire beach of sand excluding the tiny ditch he created had me wondering what finally left him satisfied with his day of labor intensive activities. 

The father and sons clearly found a compromise as the twins are now free from the jail-o-mud and have relieved dad to enjoy a cold beer as they entertain themselves. 

I looked down at the area around me and realized that I had been in motion as well. With small piles in random places, a few doodles here and there and my feet now completely covered, it’s clear the beach has many titles. Babysitter, therapist, gym, romantic platter, playground, rehab, canvas… Just name it, the shore will provide.

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