Monday, January 8, 2018

Beach Tales

jigsaw reduction woodblock prints

The ocean water is frigid, but we go in anyway. We are kids and impervious to cold. We don’t leave the water until lunch time and then we play on the beach because our parents believed that we would drown if we swam within a half hour of eating.

Who cares if this is true? We had other games for the sand. And if it was low tide, we still had an expanse of puddles to keep us wet.

Drip castles usually dominated on those days. Occasionally the construction projects grew to include more than just forts with gates and moats, and we created whole cities.

Once, we built a giant dragon. He was longer than the six of us laid head to toe and his peak - in the middle of his back - reached our waists. His sleepy face was as big as a toddler. The beast lay perpendicular to the ocean, head towards the sea, with his giant tail curving along the sand flats.

That day, we didn't return to the water at all until it was time to wash off. Of course we were covered in sand - all over our arms and legs from building and even on our bellies when we would have to stretch out to reach some important detail. 

After the surf cleaned our skin, we reluctantly walked backwards towards our summer homes, watching the ocean creep up on our creation. When the first wave licked his face, we saluted and said goodbye, knowing that he would not greet us in the morning, when we would swim and run and build again.

The scene in then prints above - the wet sand flats patterned with moving and still water - was our blank canvas all summer. It never stayed this pristine with us there molding it, splashing it and bulldozing it. But the ocean wiped it clean for us every evening, so it would be ready for new adventures each day.

And that is how I remember it now - partially as a fresh start. 

But mostly as its own intriguing composition.

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