Write about sand. Imagine touching it with your hands. What does it feel like? Write about a sandcastle you built as a kid or as an adult with your kids. Or about construction sand. Write whatever comes to mind.
Sand brings the memories of a few years living in a beach house on one of the rather rare sandy beaches around Puget Sound. Growing up in Siberia, I was mostly introduced to sand as a kid in the form of sand boxes which were a popular part of children’s playgrounds in every court yard or day care center of our small town. I do remember infrequent trips to a little river called Yesaulovka, about an hour away by foot, where probably there was some mixture of sand, gravel and round river rocks. When Mom took us to the Black Sea a couple of times in my childhood, there sure were plenty of sandy beaches there, but strangely enough, I don’t have vivid memories of that sand. Maybe I need to spend some time with the black and white photographs that my brother took of us.
But a few years living on a sandy beach, in a small rugged wooden house that looked like a fisherman’s cabin, though it was actually built as a family house in the 1930s (the family raised two sons in that tiny space), those years made a very vivid imprint on my memory. Of course it helps that it was just a few years ago. The sand was not the soft and pretty light color that you see on photos of sunny southern beaches – it was rather coarse and grayish tones, not especially picturesque or photogenic. But it was soft and pleasant for the many barefoot walks or taking a seat resting and watching the sea before going into the cold water to refresh yourself on a hot summer day, which, as we discovered, we had in abundance here. Since the house was literally built on the beach, we were always only a few feet away from the sand, and at high tide, no more than a foot away, sand became a part of our everyday living. No matter how hard we tried to clean our feet after walking on the beach, with towels and buckets of water set by the entrance to the little house, sand was everywhere in the house – on the furniture, on our bed sheets, and of course on the rugs and floor. I soon realized that there was absolutely no way to keep the myriads tiny particles away – and I relaxed about it, telling all our visitors, that they don’t have to worry about how clean their feet are when they visit our beach house, that the sand still will be here, it’s just a natural part of living on the beach.
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