Tag: beach

A perfect day at the beach

A perfect day at the beach

A typical day at the beach for me may be somewhat different than the norm. While your idea of the perfect day at the beach may simply be the sound of the surf, a gentle breeze and the sun washing over you as you relax in your lounge chair, for me it is all about the consistency of the sand and the distance between tides. Ever since I became hooked on sand sculpture it is nearly impossible for me to “relax” at the beach. Oh, believe me I have tried to just sit and stare at the pounding surf only to find myself  subconsciously moving the sand with my toes into small piles just begging to be transformed into something… anything my imagination can conjure up.  This is why I rarely resist the urge to just dig in and let my passion take over.

My perfect beach day starts with a shovel, a large pile of sand, plenty of water and of course some type of plan. Now for this discussions sake, this beach day is purely recreational. I am not creating something magical for a corporate client or the newest widget on the market, this is just for me and the other 2 or 3 hundred people who also happen  to be at the beach this day.

My plan is simple. I begin the exhausting process of piling and wetting and packing several tons of sand. It’s fun to see the look on peoples faces as they see this crazy man making a giant pile of sand. Still better are the passers by with their curious questions. ” What ‘s it going to be?” or “What you making mister?” My answer is always the same, ” I have no idea!”, I tell them with a  completely straight face. They usually promise to return and see the finished project as they continue on their way. The truth is sometimes I have a very clear plan while other times the idea only comes to me after the sand is all piled and ready to carve. Other times, for no reason at all, the idea will change and evolve during the carving process itself. The over all goal however is to create something that will make people smile, wonder or just simply stop in their tracks and gasp.

When the sculpture is complete, sometimes 6 or even 8 hours later, I get to take it all in. The smiles on people’s faces, the joy in the passing child’s eyes or the amazement of the elderly couple strolling down the beach. A perfect stranger approaches me  with a very serious expression and asks me, “Doesn’t it bother you that you spent all that time creating this beautiful sculpture and the tide is just going to wash it away?” My answer is always the same.  My art is for the moment. It’s impermanence is meant to mimic our own fragil existance on this planet and illustrate the importance of enjoying each moment. Too often we forget to stop and appreciate the small wonders in life. My goal is to simply make people pause and enjoy the sculpture in the moment.  

 As the tide approaches I gather my things and leave my masterpiece behind. I turn back for a moment and gaze back at my creation and the growing crowd that has gathered around it waiting for the tide to take its final toll. Small children attempt to construct a wall of sand to protect it from the crashing waves. Their parents and older siblings join in on the futile struggle. Finally a large wave breaches thier effors and you can hear a collective gasp from the crowd as the sculpture finally gives way to the enormous power of the tide.  I smile and turn away, shovel in hand, it has truly been for me …..a perfect day a the beach!

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