Picture from "Physics Around Us"
I wear the same blue flip flops to the beach every time. They are perpetually sandy. This is something that would have agitated me when we first moved to El Segundo.
Coming from a sandless state, I would have been happy to enjoy the sand and the waves at the beach, but then when it was time to go home, I would want to be clean. I would engage in a hopeless dance, trying to wash the sand from my body in the ocean, but then avoid flipping it up on my self as I walked back to the parking lot. This is an impossible task. There is no leaving the sand behind when you go to the beach.
First of all, the salt water makes you sticky. Secondly, the sand sticks to you no matter how dry you are. When you walk, it doesn't just fall off. Even when you wipe yourself down, there are still patches that cling to your calves, hands, and heels.
After a couple of summers at the beach, I have begun to make peace with the sand. There is no better feeling then swimming in the ocean, running back to your towel, and feeling the sand cover you from head to toe.
You pick up your towel, which has managed to have sand kicked on it from running children, or from your own carelessness. You towel off and feel the small crystals course over your skin. Then, you walk home, carrying clumps of the stuff on your feet. It flips up behind you, gets stuck in your shorts, and plasters your legs. The further you walk the more the sand works between the friction of your feet and your flip flops, leaving your heels dry and smooth. Eventually, the sand turns to dust between your toes.
At home you peel off your bathing suit to find streaks of sand plastered to your skin in henna-like patterns. When you step into the shower, sand shakes off onto the bathroom floor. Under the water, it runs down your legs and forms a gritty pool at your feet.
Last night, Dwayne and I took a quiet walk down to the beach. I felt the sand grinding between my toes and a sentence popped inot my head: if life is like a beach, I'd rather be sand-y then sand-less.