Imagine a hot sunny day, salty air, waves pounding the beach. A little boy is on his knees in the sand, scooping and packing sand with a plastic shovel into a bright red bucket. He then flips over the bucket on the surface and lifts it, creating a castle tower to the delight of the little architect.
All afternoon he works, spooning out the moat, packing the walls. Bottle tops will be sentries, popsicle sticks will be bridges. By mid-afternoon, a sand castle is built.
Now imagine a big city, busy streets and rumbling traffic.
A man is in his office at his desk, shuffling papers into stacks and delegating assignments. He cradles the phone on his shoulder and punches the keyboard with his fingers. Numbers juggled, contracts signed, and much to his delight, profit made.
All his life he will work like this, formulating plans and forecasting the future. Investments will be sentries. Capital gains will be bridges. An empire built.
These two people are builders of two castles, and have much in common. They shape granules into grandeur. They see nothing and make something. They both are diligent and determined, and for both, the tide will rise and the end will come. Yet, that is where the similarities cease; for the boy sees the end, while the man ignores it.
Watch the boy as the sun starts to set. As the waves near, the wise child jumps to his feet and begins to clap. There is no sorrow. No fear or regret. He knew this would happen. He is not surprised, and when the great breaker crashes into his castle and his masterpiece melts into the sea, he smiles. He smiles, picks up his tools, takes his father’s hand and goes home.
The grown-up, however, is not so wise. As the wave of time collapses on his castle, he is horrified. He hovers over the sandy monument to protect it. He tries to block the waves from the walls he has made. Soaked in salt-water and shivering, he shouts to the incoming tide.
“My castle!” he cries. But the ocean does not respond; both know to whom the sand belongs. Grown-ups don’t know much about sand castles, but children do. Watch them and learn to build, but build with a child’s heart. For when the sun sets and the tides of life come to take – accept and celebrate. Salute the process of life, let go and go home. In the often-quoted words of the Chinese mystic, Lao Tsu:
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.
Pursuit of Passionate Purpose
By letting go of the world and its transience, we receive from God of himself, and become one with everything.
The very best and utmost of attainment in this life
is to remain still and let God act and speak in thee.