Like sand through the hourglass. Or in my case, sand through the bottle.
This week's RemembeRED prompt is sand.
When I think of sand, of course I think of the beach. The hot, dry sand that creeps into your shoes as you trek across, trying to find the perfect spot to sit. Or the wet, sloppy sand that envelopes your toes as you walk the edge of the ocean. But the best sand is the sand that I most likely won't ever touch again.
It was the summer before my senior year of high school. The time had come for me and my friends to take our trip with the rest of the French club. We landed in Paris, a city that created many stories, but none of which relate to sand. From Paris we traveled southward to Nice.
Our teacher believed that my group of three was mature enough to travel the city alone. I'm not sure I agreed, but I surely wasn't going to argue. We had heard that nude beaches were a popular thing in that part of the world. Having never been to one, we just had to go. This is not a decision that should be made without proper planning. Some things you can never un-see.
As the three of us were walking towards the beach, chatting away, we decided to stop in a deli to buy bottles of water. The day was cool and cloudy, but those bottles would provide storage for sand as a souvenir. Again, we should have planned ahead of time. Carbonated water, tall and blue, were all we could find. It was not a pleasant experience attempting to guzzle that down.
We climbed the boulders to reach the sand. Standing atop, we gazed out at the view. Gray sand stretched to the left and right as far as we could see. The steel colored water lapped at the shore. There were only a few scarcely dressed people roaming the beach on that crisp summer day. Modesty is key when dressing in France. Just not at the beach.
Once across the small mountain reed, we removed our shoes. Our toes were not met by the hot, dry sand. Nor were they met by wet, slimy sand. The shells jabbed our toes while the gritty sand tore at our heels. We emptied our bottles, soothing our feet as we wondered how such sand would fit in our narrow topped bottles.
It was not the sandy beach we had expected, but knowing we might never stand there again, we had to take some of it home. We cupped our hands and slowly began to fill our bottles with sand and pebbles. When our loads reached the top of the long necks, we screwed on the tops as tight as we could.
That bottle rests on my dresser, hiding between jewelry and music boxes. The sand has settled and the dust has gathered on the lid. I often look at that bottle and smile. The stories of my trip come flooding back. Perhaps someday I can return to top off that bottle.