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June 17, 2024

Adding Sand

By Thomas Elson

This had been their spot. Where they stood years -- decades -- ago holding hands. Where waves lapped onto shore and cold water shocked warm feet. Where they left unfinished sandcastles.

The young father inhaled the same scent of seaweed and algae he remembered from the times with his grandad. Careful not to spill what he cradled in his left hand, he looked down at his son and squeezed the boy's hand just like his grandad twenty-two years earlier.

"Daddy, daddy," his son shouted when the waves struck his bare feet, "Cold!" The boy laughed and hopped just as his father had.

"Do you want to go back?"

"No! Do it again, daddy. Make the waves come back."

And the young father did. Again and again. Each time the waves rushed over the boy's feet, he jumped and laughed as his father did when his own grandad held his hand on this very spot.

"Do you need some help?"

The young father turned toward the sound of his wife's voice.

He shook his head from side to side. "We're fine." He watched his wife lean back on the beach towel laid atop the sand.

As the tide calmed and rolled, as white peaks morphed into foam and tall breakers turned into gentle laps, he twisted the lid with his right hand, opened the jar and poured some of the contents on the beach and some onto the coastline.

"What are you doing, daddy?"

"Adding sand to the beach."


"Because he's my grandad."

Article © Thomas Elson. All rights reserved.
Published on 2021-09-06
Image(s) are public domain.
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