She was walking the beach on a steamy summer day. The wind was casually blowing by her, reminding her of a favorite song she had heard when she was young, when she was carefree.
Her sandcastle had long been destroyed, carelessly built too close to the dangers of sneaky waves that amble up out of nowhere, crashing faith.
Early in the day she had found a little red bucket, the yellow plastic handle was broken on one end, no matter, some rewards have imperfections. She hit her knees and smiled, finding the hope that would help her to rebuild. She knew she would always rebuild, no matter the sacrifice.
Her tousled auburn hair was flowing in the breeze, spirits were lifted, the day looked much brighter, a celebrated moment not lost on her, the work would now begin. She started to sing in anticipation and wonder of what the end result would be.
Days and months rolled by unassumingly.
There were many times sweat and tears flowed from her being, mixing in with the sand, strengthening and binding it together, she was thankful for them all as they would define her spirit in the end. She was working diligently for her family, they were laughter and love, perfectly created from above, jewels in the crown of her life.
Their future hinged on a stable foundation and the assurance that each wall would hold strong through the summer storms and turmoil, the rages of an angry sea.
Many obstacles can threaten a small castle that is not built on faith.
She still carried faith even in great loss.
When the sun was blocked by dark clouds and rumble, faith dictated that it would reappear, a beam here or there, patches of warmth, always to return to her in some way.
White waves trespassed onto the shoreline, crashing on the castle, awakening her from slumber. Running out to mend each crack was vital, sometimes she had help, but she never wished or found pleasure in asking for it.
Some walls of the castle were strong and secure, she felt confident they would survive. On calm days, there were hours spent tracing her fingers around the main walls, remembering each plastered crack, smiling and thankful for every grain of sand she was given to mend them.
Walking through time, looking for the sun, she would find small reminders of hope and resilience. Little pieces of muted colored sea glass, sky blues and greens, rough edged and misshapen, all were placed in the now battered red pail.
Shells that spotted the dunes, deemed imperfect by many, would be held in her hand tightly, treasured for what they had to offer, taken to be given new life.
She was always on the watch, ready to fix any damage that threatened the edifice, never resting unaware.
This would go on and on for her.
Looking up to the sky, she saw castles of stone and mortar, built on firm foundations, dwarfing hers, she often wondered what stories those walls could tell her, what wisdom could she gain from them?
One day she spotted a helicoptering feather, floating and dancing with each gentle gust of wind. It beckoned her to follow, entrancing with the motion and the slow way it hung in the air. While she held her hands out, it decided to take rest, tickling her gently while landing in waiting palms.
Crisp white, with a Stark black tip, it was perfectly balanced in color. The quill was lined with thousands of fine separations, all tied together, dutifully supporting one another. You could pull them apart, but with one quickened swipe, they could be bound together once more.
She would place this feather on top of the castle, a fine embellishment, speaking to the many steps it takes to hold life together, to be unified.
The wind started blowing fiercely, a storm was brewing, she ran out quickly to
fill the bucket with more sand for patching and stabilizing.
But she would return to find the castle leveled, waves taking it for their own.
She stood, feet sinking into the sand, pulling her under. Tears were flowing as the little bucket floated upon her slowly, lodging between her trembling legs. In the bucket she found the feather, unharmed by the ramblings of wind and sea, speaking to her loudly once more.
She would gather the shells and sea glass. Bucket by bucket, grain by tiny grain, she would rebuild the castle with the tears and sweat of another storm she prayed would soon be quieting down.
One more battle to be feebly but successfully weathered.
She would always rebuild, no matter the sacrifice.