Somewhere along the way, we may feel like we are swimming against the tide. How many days can a child play in the sandpit? Will their play ever grow? Will it change? How much can you learn digging in the sand?
This isn’t a story about that except to say that there are a lot of children who gravitate towards and seem to stay with fingers and toes in the sand for days into weeks into years. I mean, they don’t really, but there they can be found more days than not.
We all know that the sand itself changes. It is cold or hot, wet or silty. There is the resistance of the shovel or the hand. Sometimes there are leaves in the sand, dry and crunchy or wet and slimy. There are insects in the sand, mostly grubs, but also worms that need to be rescued or just carried around. There are sticks, hickory nuts, rocks, pebbles all mixed up with the sand. Those all reveal an experiential, tactile pursuit which stands on its own if we are counting benefits or thinking about the “why” of having sand collected in a single area where children play.
This isn’t a story about that either.
This is a story about the stories found in the sandpit over a small set of days.
If you look at these photos you will see children, and a particular child, engaged in that digging, moving, surface-level thing that at a quick glance will seem to be about the tactile feel of sand collected in one place for you to dig in. There is so much more story to the whole thing though as there is with any sandpit, dig pit, sandbox, beach, mud pit around the world.
On the first day, there was a story about mermaid hearts. On the second it was a cake, but not just any cake, of course. On the third day, there was a visit to Granma’s house (the teller playing the role of Granma) and then on the fourth, a vampire musical was launched with only a sliver of sand available with a rain-filled tarp limiting access to the rest.
Four days. Three stories plus a musical. Digging in the sand is so much more than just digging.