In every child is the latent spark of the creator, the artist, the
builder, the engineer, the explorer. All that's needed is
the place for their dormant abilities to burst into flame.
The beach is such a place.
Children are in their element when with their playmates they're
turned loose to play on the beach. With little spade and
pail in hand, soon squeals of delight are heard as the
treasures that are hidden in the sand are discovered. Along
the tide line they're finding all sorts of interesting
shells, limpets, cowries, periwinkles, hermit crabs and all
kinds of little bits of flotsam and jetsam that arouses their
As the tide goes out the wet sand becomes their media for building
castles, creatures of the sea and everything their
imaginations conjure up. All the stuff that they've picked up
gets used to adorn their creations. Around their castles
their bits of seaweed become gardens and forests. Sticks
become bridges over moats. By the time they get through
decorating their castles with the shells and all the other
things that they found, their dreams and imaginations become
To the golfer a golf ball is the thing they drive down the fairway
but not so for children on the beach. A favourite creation
of children is to build golf ball railway sand castles.
These start by a great pyramid of sand being built. From
the upper peak, a golf ball is used to impress a roadbed
into the sand then slowly in a spiral track winds around and around
until it reaches the bottom. Soon, tunnels are bored
through the sand castle to emerge on the other side and
sticks become railway lines as the ball rolls over canyons
and chasms to at last trickle on down towards the sea.
Then the inevitable happens. Slowly but surely the incoming tide
advances and the castle crumbles.
But all is not lost. This day on the beach will be locked in
I'm sure Hillary, my granddaughter, will agree to that.
Children are not dismayed when the tide comes in and consumes their
They know that tomorrow will be
another day and they will build anew.