“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.” ~Vincent van Gogh
Yesterday I arrived at the beach nice and early, which is one of my favorite things to do.
It turned out I wasn’t the only one who likes to beat the crowds.
There on the beach was an older gentleman putting the final touches on a sandcastle he was building.
I’m not sure how long he had been there, but one thing was clear to see.
This was no ordinary-build-in-a-few-minutes-topple-down-in-an-instant-sandcastle. This was the stuff movies are made of.
I sat looking at this majestic sand sculpture in awe. It made me think of how something can be created from nothing. It made me remember how minuscule, seemingly meaningless grains of sand can add up to something much more significant, something tangible and yes, something meaningful.
It takes work, of course. And time, perseverance, patience and passion, to name a few others.
You have to start with a solid foundation, and then battle the elements—whatever they may be—as well as the frustrations, the mishaps and the missteps.
You have to ignore what others are thinking or saying—especially if it’s you won’t succeed or you’re crazy to try. (What do other people know about your dreams?)
You have to ignore your own voice that tells you to give up or forget it, especially in the early stages of the beginning. (Your vision came to you for a reason. Trust that voice instead.)
Plus, the beginning is always the most challenging.
You have to remember your dream, why you started to begin with. You have to be clear and centered, secure and sure. And you must hold that vision delicately between both your palms, the way you would a handful of sand, so it doesn’t disappear through the cracks or get swept away by a sudden gust of wind.
I went up to the gentleman and told him how I was inspired by his sandcastle. It turns out creating elaborate works of sand art are just this thing he likes to do, a lot.
Of course this wouldn’t be his first sandcastle. Mastering something takes time, after all. Building a new set of skills rarely comes instantaneously.
As we chatted, I discovered his sandcastle really is the stuff movies are made of.
I could sense he was a modest sandcastle-maker so he never would have asked me the question, but luckily his wife did. She wanted to know if I recognized what movie the castle—with the moats, multiple towers, twigs, gates, seashells, and feathers—was inspired by.
I searched my mind for an answer, but was sad when nothing came to me. It turns out it was from The Hobbit. (I have yet to see it, so that doesn’t take away from his ability!)
The whole time we talked, he simply sat back in his beach chair, the smile of a little boy, filled with a humble pride. And another thing? He chuckled. A lot. It was endearing and infectious.
Don’t we all want that kind of joy in our lives?
If you are reading this and are at the beginning stages of a project or simply imagining the possibilities of your future, I want you to remember this: all our dreams start as grains of sand.
It’s what you do with them that matters most.
And nothing, sweet souls, is impossible.