Where Our Fulfillment Is Found

The sun is here, so, today, we go to the beach.

We lay out the biggest towels we could find in the bathroom. We unpack potato chips and blueberries. We put on sunblock.

The tide is low, the beach is huge. We must build a sandcastle. And this will be the Versailles, Rolls Royce, rare orchid, crème brûlée of castles.

We drip decadent spires. We dig a deep moat that gushes salt water. We build a watch tower; we need a lookout to prevent invaders from lesser sandcastles. Beach goers Ohh and Ahh at our work. As they should; we have made some art.

We sit on our towels and eat potato chips. We watch the tide come in.

There is one wave. It reaches almost intentionally up the beach. With a single push, it wipes out spires and towers, collapses the moat. The wave pulls back. Our work is destroyed.

Well, wait. Is it?

The product is gone. The experience of the process is not. The wave cannot take away our memory of creating, discovering, “I love that gate! How about if we add a row of hedges next to it!”

Our fulfillment is rarely found in nouns, but in verbs - of building, connecting, engaging.

The tripped up sandcastle has been wiped away. The potato chips and the blueberries have been eaten away. The nouns have been verb-ed away.

What we get to keep, though, is the remembrance of making, doing, being. There is no wave that can take the experience of having lived those moments back into the ocean with it.

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