SAND…what’s the fascination? Regardless of the color – white, black, purple, grey, rust and green or the texture from silky to course, sand holds a fascination for young and old alike. There have been songs, poems and stories written about sand and it has been a focal of many movies. Who could ever forget the hour glass in the Wizard of Oz ticking away Dorothy and Toto’s lives grain by grain or From Here to Eternity with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr and THAT beach scene that help win them both an Oscar or, Dune, which featured sand monsters. It must have been great, it even had a sequel. None of these movies would have been as impactful if it weren’t for the sand.
SAND is transforming. Children, who can’t sit still for a New York minute, will spend hours shoveling, moving, sifting and, burying someone, usually an unsuspecting sibling, up to their necks only to be rescued by a loving parent. As for adults, sit them on a beach, hand them a bucket and a shovel and they are immediately reliving their childhood as they shovel, move, sift and build a sandcastle of their youth.
Again I ask, what’s the fascination with sand? You see, I detest sand -always have and, at this stage of my life, probably always will. As a child, the day trips my family took to the Jersey shore were met with screams of joy and excitement from my brother and tears and whinny from me. I knew there would be sand. Even thinking about sand between my toes makes me shudder.
Recently, we spent a week at Cinnamon Shore in Aransas, Texas, a beach vacation spot near Corpus Christie. Why a beach spot if I don’t like sand, you ask? Family. My niece Lisa, who lives in Austin, and her family were driving there for four days so I did what every loving aunt would do – I invited myself to their vacation! We arrived a few days early to settle in and get ‘the lay of the land’. With the prediction of less than perfect weather for the rest of the week, we decided to get some sun while it was still making its appearance…on the beach. I must admit, this sand wasn’t too bad – packed down firmly and only a short walk from the dunes to our chairs.
After a short time, families started to gather around us, laying down blankets, setting up umbrellas and dragging out shovels, and buckets. One by one, children, teens, and adults started carving out 3×3 squares within which their castles would appear after hours of sand piling and hundreds of trips to and from the water filling and carrying their buckets. Their expressions ranged from sheer determination, to elation, to utter joy and all because of SAND.
We spent four wonderful days with our family – beaching, walking, surfing and, yes, building sand castles. I’m still not a fan of sand, but I’ve come to appreciate its appeal, its attraction and especially, its magic.

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