This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. I know that you probably can’t tell this. But the beach…well…its my happy place. I pretty much get so happy on the sand, and near the water that I nearly fall asleep instantly. Especially every evening when I find the sandcastle that I built.
When we first got here to this Jacksonville, Florida place, I found it. A perfect place for Girl Person to sit down on a piece of driftwood, in front of a sand dune for Digby to pee on, and for me, I decided to build a little pillow and sandcastle to sit on every night. And even with all the storms we have had, the rain, the wind and the tides, my little sandcastle remains.
You may wonder how I could be so attached to a castle that isn’t even mine, really. You may think that I don’t own this beach or the sand on it. And I thought about that a little too at first. I mean, should I get so attached to a place that we didn’t own and that we were only camping at? I mean, this wasn’t truly our home. We didn’t pay for it. But one night, Girl Person told me that it was ok. She is always trying to build me up like that sandcastle…higher and higher.
She said that on this earth, none of us really and truly own anything. She said even persons with all the money in the world, with big houses and mansions don’t own where they live. Truly. She said that they don’t own where they live any more than I own my sandcastle. She said that the earth is owned by no one. She said that it is here for us to enjoy and take care of. But saying that we own some of it is simply not true.
You see, when we think that we own something just because we shuffled around paper money and signed more papers to shuffle around with our signature that says it is ours, sometimes we may think that we can do anything we want with it. It seems less valuable. For now, the beach, the ocean and my sandcastle is enjoyable whether a piece of paper says we own it or not. And that was a hard lesson to learn. You see, life is made of experiences. Not pieces of signed papers.
Our experiences can either build us up like a sandcastle, or bring us down. Fighting to be in a cycle to keep up with everyone else can rob us of joy and seeing what is really out there to enjoy. Living within our means is difficult sometimes. Because even I will admit that I would like more peanut butter cookies some days. But the days I do have them make them more special. And although we haven’t found somewhere that we can afford and that feels like home yet, we are learning that constantly being in a search for something else makes us forget what is right in front of us.
So for now sandcastle, you sure feel like home to me. In my heart, this is where I want to be. For today. No one can tell me my heart doesn’t own this beach. No one can tell me my heart doesn’t own my ocean. And no one can tell me that heart doesn’t live here. Where does your heart own? Go there today. Own it.
As we walked out to the beach this weekend, we had one more reminder about life from a dog named Jack that we never met. And if Jack could be here now, I would tell him that I am enjoying the beach and the sand and the balls that he did. And that his love for this place will live on in us until we pass it on as well. He loved this place. And I bet he had his own sandcastle too.
Remember that life is more than papers. There are so many beautiful, wonderful things meant to build us up. If you can today..throw a ball in remembrance of Jack. Live your life as much as Jack loved his tennis balls. Build yourself up and build others up as high as you can. Your life is yours. You don’t need to sign your life away to live it. Make the best sandcastle you have ever seen. But not my sandcastle. This one is taken.
-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle
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