Relish time in sand piles

Published 11:34 am Friday, January 11, 2013

“There’s music in the sighing of a reed;

There’s music in the gushing of a rill;

There’s music in all things, if men had ears:

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Their earth is but an echo of the spheres.”

~ Lord Byron 

One peaceful sunny afternoon while driving the scenic back way down the mountain to Tryon, I happened to pass by a small house.

Outside, a little girl was sitting in a pile of sand, happily playing the hours away, rapt in what she was building out of hills of white. Truthfully, I nearly stopped and joined her – the little girl still inside my heart sure wanted to! You don’t see kids outside playing often enough these days: the first reaction I felt seeing her playing in the sand was utter joy. How important it is for kids to be kids, to be out in nature, reveling in nothing but the freedom of play and imagination.

Remembering my own sand pile days (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth), I thought about the sheer wonder of what could be built with sand, a bucket and scoop, a few toys, the endless kingdoms possible, along with the potential of digging to China and seeing what was over there. All the delights of magical play outside with sunshine, birds, grass, trees, a cat or dog always hanging near, sometimes other little hands joining in, how time flew. Countless hours passed by, and it was always hard to leave the sand pile. Like sand at the beach, a hill of sand in the backyard is limitless with where you can venture creatively. All these years later, the fun and delight of a simple pile of sand is remembered. I wonder if there’s a spot in the backyard for a new sand pile?