Sand is a collective noun; only to be singled out by its granularity. Nobody is on ‘Team Sand’. People form teams atop sand, sure, but nobody really cares about laying claim to the sand, rather the possibility of what to place atop it. We’d be more honest atop a rocky shore, taking the arrowheads and hammerheads, but not fixating on the expanse. It should seem almost irrelevant to walk atop this beach of sand. If we only knew the wealth that lay immediately under our feet. If we only knew the vast networks of color making up this perceived golden mass scorching and wetting our feet. It holds us stably, balancing our self-center of gravity that so often likes to slip and trip over silly bits.
A rock is a rock — everyone knows this. Arriving upon the rocky shore, we’re free now to stumble. Unlike wet sand that sticks on our hands, slick rocks slip out of our hand the minute we have grasped them. Unlike wet sand that builds the castles of our dreams, rocks can only pile up like Jenga – impressive only due to their grandeur and in spite of their shaky precarity. The issue is that the hours of sand castle are undone in a split second with or without even the slightest hesitation. Each rock, even once disjoined from others, will sit and weather for millennia. They look impervious, but we know they are not.
It’s interesting how squeamish one can be to brush off every grain of sand after time at the beach. While the sand is brushed off, we’d happily single out a rock that suits our fancy. We’d take it home, make an earring or keep the pet rock with us. The thing is that we’d more easily die by the rock than by sand. Rocks lodge and bludgeon as we drudge them along with us. Sand falls off us eventually. It noticeably clings, but the silt will filter out eventually and the worst you can do is worry about it. I’d rather swallow a rock’s-worth of sand, than a sand’s worth of rock.
We naturally gravitate towards bed-shaped things to sleep upon – like a bed. We all know that looks can deceive. So no one can disagree that with the curtains pulled and lights shown, we’d all choose the bedrock before the sandlot. The rocks merely remind us of sleep, shaped like our pillows, stuffed animals, partners; but the sand would more easily cradle us asleep, purring a lullaby as it falls over itself. Waking up in a deserted place, we have the comfort of endless possibilities of nothing to do as we’re looking around the threshold. Waking up among rocks, we have something to bang around for a bit.